Circular economy gained a presence in policy statements made by NRAs in Europe in the early 2010s. However, there was limited progress in translating the concept to reality in any holistic sense in the early years. There are examples of the application by NRAs of individual aspects that could contribute to CE, such as improving resource consumption, incorporating reused and recycled materials into asphalt and designing out waste. However, by the late 2010s, while it was recognised that CE could deliver economic, environmental and social benefits and was key to achieving net zero carbon emissions, there was still no actual evidence of systemic development and integration of circular economy approaches into major road infrastructure projects.
Deliverable 4.3 (available to download here> ) presents the third of three case studies that explores the practical implementation of RE and CE principles in the delivery of road infrastructure projects. The objective was to identify the strategies that can be adopted by NRAs to embed RE and CE thinking in their organisation
and supply chain. Information has been gathered through interviews with organisations in the UK, Netherlands and Ireland, and reviews of published reports, surrounding documents and information provided during discussions.
Testing the validity of the risk-based analysis framework
Comparing maintenance options for asphalt pavements
Assessing the technical, economic and long-term environmental viability of preservation techniques, high-recycled content asphalt, and incorporation of waste resource streams as secondary materials
Investigation of recycling concrete technologies
Comparison of current practice with innovative methods for concrete recycling into high-end products