Recycled Plastic Bridge Proves Inexpensive as Well as Eco-Friendly

You may have heard of plastic bottles being recycled into fleece jackets, park benches, and, of course, more plastic bottles — but bridges? Yep; that’s one of the latest creative uses for old milk cartons, soda containers, and the like. A 56-foot-long, one-lane bridge over the Mullica River in southern New Jersey, built almost entirely of a special, super-strong plastic blend, has held up well for more than a year, and the team of Rutgers University scientists behind the project see a big potential market for small plastic bridges, though they say the technology isn’t yet ready for large, heavily traveled spans, such as those that are part of the interstate highway system. The New Jersey bridge was erected for just $75,000, compared to the estimated $350,000 that a standard wooden bridge would cost. Plastic bridges are also preferable to wood ones because they don’t need to be treated with chemicals to ward off insects.