Orbia unveils Mexico 'plastic waste' bike path

Mexico City climate-adaptive route has been designed to reduce likelihood of flooding 
Mobility as a Service / April 19, 2021
By Ben Spencer
Orbia PlasticRoad Mexico City bike path Mexico City Mobility Secretariat Mexico City Environment Secretariat
Orbia says Mexico City is facing water challenges due to climate change (image credit: Orbia )

Orbia and PlasticRoad have inaugurated a climate-adaptive bicycle path made from more than 2,200 pounds of plastic waste in a section of Mexico City's Chapultepec Forest.

Orbia is a community of companies in which members such as building and infrastructure provider Wavin and producer of dynamic materials Polymer Solutions work together to address challenges such as how to make cities more liveable. 

In the Chapultepec Forest, Mexico City holds more than 1,695 natural, publicly accessible acres.

The infiltrative bike path is expected to reduce the likelihood of flooding while also giving people a safer ride. 

Orbia says Mexico City and its greater metropolitan area is facing potable water challenges, stemming from a growing population of more than 22 million people, heavy rain caused by the effects of climate change and pollution due to the generation of plastic waste. 

The provider insists that water management issues have impacted drinking water availability in a city that has an annual rainfall of more than 2.1 billion cubic feet. 

The PlasticRoad offers temporary water storage and drainage features for extreme rainfall and flooding conditions and is embedded with sensor technology for monitoring and surface management. 

Orbia claims the PlasticRoad has a reduced carbon footprint of up 72% over its service life compared to traditional road structures. 

Other partners involved in the project include Mexico City Mobility Secretariat and the Mexico City Environment Secretariat (Sedema).

Dr. Marina Robles García, secretary of Sedema, says the initiative is part of an environment and climate change programme unveiled two years ago by the head of the city's government Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum.

“An initiative like this combines the idea of seeking sustainable mobility in the city with the idea of giving new life to plastic waste as reusable material to build new infrastructure,” García continues. 

“We believe that together, we can build a better city. A city with a future, with a sustainable future.”

Wavin’s regional brand Amanco Wavin has supervised the installation of the PlasticRoad pilot bicycle path and will coordinate all routine maintenance and technical control.

PlasticRoad is preparing for a commercial launch of its product in the coming months following two initial pilots in the Netherlands. 

PlasticRoad managing director Eric Kievit says: “Our third pilot in Mexico is an opportunity to test our product under a different set of climate conditions, which will provide us with significant data in order to explore international markets outside our country of origin—the Netherlands—in the future.”

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