PlasticRoad and Orbia (BMV: Orbia), in collaboration with the Mexico City Mobility Secretariat (SEMOVI) and the Mexico City Environment Secretariat (SEDEMA), have inaugurated the first PlasticRoad pilot in Latin America located in the second section of Mexico City’s Chapultepec Forest (Bosque de Chapultepec). The PlasticRoad pilot is made from over 1000 kilograms of plastic waste—the equivalent of half a million plastic bottle caps. PlasticRoad bv is responsible for developing the eponymous climate-adaptive and smart infrastructure solution.
At the presentation of this new infrastructure, Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia said, “At Orbia, we work at the intersection of basic and advanced materials and infrastructure solutions that advance life around the world. With the partnership of the local government, SEMOVI and SEDEMA, we are proud to inaugurate PlasticRoad in Mexico City and support this incredible global capital and its citizens on the journey to climate resilience.”
The Road to a More Sustainable Future
Today, Mexico City and its greater metropolitan area is facing potable water challenges, stemming from a growing population (more than 22 million people and rising), heavy rains caused by the compounding effects of climate change, pollution due to the generation of plastic waste and aging infrastructure. With record annual rainfall of over 600 million cubic meters, Mexico City’s water management issues have impacted drinking water availability and citizens’ quality of life.
Dr. Marina Robles García, Secretary of SEDEMA, recalled when the Head of Mexico City’s government Dr. Claudia Sheinbaum presented an environment and climate change program two years ago, inclusive of the development of strategic projects for the municipality. “One of the initiatives is the PlasticRoad, which we are very pleased will add to a sustainable future for Mexico City. 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. We believe that together, we can build a better city. A city with a future, with a sustainable future”, says Robles García.
The modular design of Mexico City’s PlasticRoad offers temporary water storage and drainage features. It is ideal for promoting water storage during extreme rainfall and flooding conditions and is embedded with sensor technology for monitoring and surface management. By gradually infiltrating rainwater back into the ground, dry periods will also have a less negative impact on the area. In addition, its durability and low-maintenance nature mean a reduced carbon footprint of up to 72% over its service life as compared to traditional road structures.
Eric Kievit, Managing Director at PlasticRoad, states, “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.”