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World of Asphalt is Next Week: Are You Paving with Plastic?



MILWAUKEE — In their session for the World of Asphalt People, Plants and Paving Digital Conference (March 9-11, 2021), Richard Willis of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and Dr. Fan Yin of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) explore what it takes to make asphalt paving part of the solution to the plastic waste problem while still maintaining a quality final product.

“In 2018, I got an e-mail from my mom. It was a Facebook video she had seen talking about ‘the plastic road,’ a road modified with recycled plastic in the asphalt mixtures, and it was going to last longer, it was going to save the oceans, it was going to save the world,” Willis explains in his session that goes live Thursday, March 11. “I knew this was going to be a significant effort for the industry when an asphalt contractor in Texas was asked at a hearing, ‘what are you doing about recycling?’”

Willis goes through the broader ins and outs of including recycled plastics in asphalt pavement mixes before turning it over to Dr. Yin, who really got into the details of the concept.

“Plastic is not just plastic.  It can come in many different types, grades, processes and conditions,” Dr. Yin tells attendees.  “They are very different, and can have very different properties, and will affect the properties of our asphalt binders and mixtures when we are adding them into the material.”

Willis and Dr. Yin help asphalt pavement professionals learn how to approach the topic of plastics in pavement, what to look out for, how it can affect different pavement and mixture processes, and what research shows so far in terms of the effect plastics are having on pavement projects already on the ground, including some experiencing less rutting, but more cracking.

Those interested in learning more can register for the People, Plants and Paving Digital Conference here, or by visiting


About World of Asphalt

Held every year except during CONEXPO-CON/AGG years, World of Asphalt is the leading trade show and conference focused on the asphalt and paving industries. The World of Asphalt People, Plants and Paving Digital Conference runs March 9-11, 2021. World of Asphalt returns to the show floor March 29-31, 2022 at the Nashville Music City Center. The show features the best education, and latest equipment, products, services and technologies for the asphalt and paving industries. The show is owned by the National Asphalt Pavement Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association. For more information on World of Asphalt, visit

About the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA)

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations.  NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,200 companies as members, was founded in 1955.

About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

AEM is the North America-based international trade group representing off-road equipment manufacturers and suppliers with more than 1,000 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture and construction-related industry sectors worldwide. The equipment manufacturing industry in the United States supports 2.8 million jobs and contributes roughly $288 billion to the economy every year.