Synthesis of Information Related to Highway Practices. Topic 55-16. Use of Sustainable Materials for Erosion and Sediment Control Practices

Temporary Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) practices are used in construction to prevent soil loss and reduce sediment-laden stormwater runoff. Plastics are commonly used for ESC due to their availability, durability, and cost, but they are rarely recycled and can break down into microplastics, which are a pollutant of concern. The netting of plastic ESC practices can also entangle wildlife. The Buy America requirement to exclusively use materials that are made in the United States has impacted the supply chain for many ESC products produced overseas, creating a need for state departments of transportation (DOTs) to find alternative - local and/or domestic - sources for construction stormwater management. Many states have or are working toward innovative practices involving reducing plastic-based ESC products and other potentially toxic materials used in ESC. The objective of this synthesis is to document state DOT use of plastics in ESC practices, as well as state DOT practices aimed at reducing or eliminating the use of plastics and other nonbiodegradable materials for ESC practices. Information to be gathered includes (but is not limited to): (1) Practices for using plastic in ESC; (2) Policies and regulations regarding the reduction or prohibition of plastics use in ESC products; (3) Enforcement strategies to ban toxic substances from ESC practices; (4) Efforts in recycling plastics used in current ESC practices; and (5) Use of biodegradable alternative ESC products.


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $55000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-05, Topic 55-16

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Nasri, Arefeh

  • Start Date: 20230807
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01884671
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-05, Topic 55-16
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2023 4:48PM