The Use of Recycled Plastic in Asphalt Pavements: Feasibility Study

Recently the world’s population has been paying more attention to severe climate changes and environmental pollutions, by focusing primarily on ways to control and reduce the CO2 through reusing, and recycling a broad range of waste materials. The asphalt pavement industry has a long history of using recycled materials in asphalt mixtures to achieve engineering, economic, and environmental benefits. Besides reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) being recycled at a rate of approximately 94 percent, other recycled materials such as recycled asphalt shingles (RAS), recycled tire rubber (RTR), waste engine oils, steel slag, recycled glass, and many others have been and will continue to be used in some markets or applications. A recycled material that has recently gained attention for paving purposes is waste plastic residues (WPR). The plastics industry has been actively exploring new end market opportunities for over 30 million tons of waste plastics generated yearly. One of the potential applications identified is asphalt pavements. In late 2016, media reports began suggesting the use of WPR in asphalt as an opportunity to improve the performance of asphalt pavements while eliminating the growing amount of waste plastics being landfilled or polluting the environment. However, using WPR in asphalt mixtures can be challenging due to variations in its composition and the presence of non-plastic contaminants. To ensure the quality of asphalt mixtures containing WPR, requirements are needed to specify the key properties of these materials and how they should be used to improve the overall pavement life cycle benefits while protecting the environment. Therefore, the goal of this multi-phase study is to evaluate the feasibility of using recycled plastic in asphalt pavements by considering the effect of WPR addition on the rutting, cracking, moisture, and aging resistance of asphalt mixtures using well-established mixture performance test methods.


    • English


    • Status: Active
    • Funding: $148,494.00
    • Sponsor Organizations:

      Nebraska Department of Transportation

      1500 Nebraska 2
      Lincoln, NE  United States  68502
    • Project Managers:

      Halsey, Lieska

    • Principal Investigators:

      Teixeira, Jamilla

      Haghshenas, Hamzeh

      Rea, Robert

    • Start Date: 20230701
    • Expected Completion Date: 20250531
    • Actual Completion Date: 0

    Subject/Index Terms

    Filing Info

    • Accession Number: 01881380
    • Record Type: Research project
    • Source Agency: Nebraska Department of Transportation
    • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
    • Created Date: Apr 27 2023 2:06PM