Drinking and driving is always a bad idea. But in New Zealand, drivers are being encouraged to try driving on drinks. Empty drinks, to be exact.
Hamilton, New Zealand (population 165,400), is currently testing out a small section of roadway paved with asphalt made with crushed and ground-up beer bottles.
The bottle-based sand is manufactured by New Zealand company DB Breweries using its own bottles that otherwise might have made their way to landfills. The company says it produces about 116 tons of beer bottle sand each year. The by-product is used in various construction projects in place of natural sand.
So how well does the bottle-infused roadway hold up to traffic? Quite well, according to a local official. Recent high temperatures have made some New Zealand roads “bleed.” But the trial section in Hamilton shrugged off the heat like a frosty mug of lager.
With the recycled sand costing about the same as conventional materials, New Zealand is considering expanding its use, especially if it continues to outperform expectations.
This post was originally published on January 12, 2018.