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Berlin is knorke: Streets made from old plastic

27. March 2023 – They are one of the 2022 winners of the Berlin Brandenburg Innovation Award: Together with its partners, including the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT) and the University of Kassel, the Berlin-based company ecopals is developing sustainable solutions for future-proof and lower-emission road construction. The Vision: Roads, and therefore also road construction, connect us humans with each other. Road construction in particular offers a lot of potential - also in terms of sustainability. The company, which is supported by Berlin Partner, wants to make use of this potential.

The first ecopals product is therefore a high-performance asphalt additive made from non-recyclable plastic: EcoFlakes. These reduce the carbon footprint of the asphalt needed for road construction by up to 30% - a figure that is arousing interest. For example in the cities of Aschaffenburg, Kiel, Potsdam, Austrian Vorarlberg and Nepalese Gaidakot. They were all able to save not only CO2, but also a considerable amount of bitumen, a mineral oil product and component of asphalt, during road construction by using EcoFlakes.

But what exactly is behind the innovative material? EcoFlakes are a bitumen and polymer substitute made from non-recyclable plastics. They improve the performance properties of asphalt, give it an extended service life and are more cost-effective than bitumen. If the EcoFlakes are used for road construction, they even replace the mineral oil product by up to 10%. A saving that

makes all the difference. In addition, the EcoFlakes offer increased resistance to the formation of ruts and streaks that can occur at high temperatures, but do not impair the asphalt's flexibility at low temperatures but its workability and compactibility.

In short: with EcoFlakes, ecopals has developed something that, as a new technology, fits the goals of the Innovation Award: the promotion, presentation and appreciation of future and marketable developments in the capital region. And they are already working on the development of further technologies for a resource-efficient and sustainable construction industry.


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