Stanford engineers Michael Lepech and Zhiye Li have a unique vision of the future: buildings and roads made from plastic waste.
In a new white paper commissioned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Lepech and Li study the current status, challenges, and needs of recycling plastics in a circular economy, and examine the long-term durability and environmental costs of doing so for use in infrastructure.

Using a mix of computer modeling, scientific research, experimental and field data, as well as interviews with recycling industry stakeholders, Lepech and Li analyze case studies using plastic waste for façade panels in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and pavement in a California Department of Transportation road project. Among other results, their findings indicate that recycled glass fiber reinforced polymer composite – a tensile plastic commonly used in car, boat, and plane parts – is a promising material for reuse in buildings.

NASEM will publish the white paper as an appendix to its annual report to Congress, the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and may use it as the basis of recommendations to policymakers. Read more at: Stanford University

Source: ENN

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