PlasticRoad and 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 a smart, climate-adaptive bicycle path made from over 2,200 pounds of plastic waste—the equivalent of half a million plastic bottle caps.
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 2.1 billion cubic feet, 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.”
At the Heart of Green Transportation in Mexico City
In the Chapultepec Forest, Mexico City holds over 1,695 natural, publicly accessible acres that run through the city. In this way, the Forest is the heart of the city’s progression to green mobility.
Andres Lajous, Secretary of SEMOVI, says: “In Mexico City, we support initiatives that improve sustainable urban mobility to improve how people move, but that also protect the environment. This mainly has to do with cycling infrastructure and with electromobility: in this case, the installation of an infiltrative bike path that improves service to citizens by reducing the likelihood of flooding, maintenance needs and can give people a more comfortable and safer ride. At SEMOVI, we care a lot about offering better infrastructure options for citizens.”
Juan Pablo del Valle Perochena, Chairman of the Orbia Board of Directors, adds: “With the inauguration of PlasticRoad in Mexico City, the possibilities for a cleaner, greener future are an open road. We are honored to steer forward in this partnership, starting from the city where Orbia was born.”
Amanco Wavin, Wavin’s regional brand and part of the Orbia community of companies, has supervised the installation of the PlasticRoad pilot bicycle path and will coordinate all routine maintenance and technical control. Extending from the first two PlasticRoad pilots in the Netherlands, the PlasticRoad company is preparing for its commercial launch in the upcoming months.