The first company in Europe with unique reuse of plastic waste
Many factors threaten the future of our planet, but the environmental issues are in our hands. If we start from ourselves by separating, minimizing waste, or consciously using packaging, and so on, the next generation will be better off. However, if we roll our sleeves up, engage our heads, and find some waste recovery solution now, our planet wouldn’t need to worry about its future. They did so in VIAKORP – and Slovakia should be proud of it. We talked about the successes that vigorously crossed the borders of our country with Ján BOHOVIC, the CEO of VIAKORP.
The Viakorp company based in Zvolen is the first company in Europe to reuse plastic waste by applying it to asphalt. The testing section is located in the Lučenec district, and the Slovak company already receives orders from all over Europe. Can you introduce us to your business?
The building-trade company was founded in 2016 by Ján Bohovic, Stanislav Dado and Michal Šimko after several years of experience in a large foreign construction company operating in Slovakia. Although we only have operated on the market for the fourth year, our company is doing well. For example, just this year we managed to realize the construction with a total turnover of nine million euros. We specialize in logistics, construction of industrial buildings, building construction or civil engineering, but the main focus is the construction and reconstruction of roads. Moreover, this part of the business has brought us popularity and remarkable success not only in our country but also in the world. For example, the Belgian RTBF portal and BBC station have noticed the plastic-made road project.
What inspired you to begin an arduous journey of plastic waste reuse?
We have decided to at least help to solve such a massive problem as ubiquitous plastic waste. Application of our plastic waste technology in construction is unique, and I must say that the initial inspiration came from partners in Scotland, with whom we have been dealing with technical and organizational practices for about a year.
In Lučenec district, which has had one of the highest unemployment rates for years, you have been testing the first section of asphalt with waste elements since last year. What have you experienced so far?
Yes, the first 150-meter test section was completed last year in the Lučenec district. Thus Viakorp has become the first company in Europe to recover plastic waste in this way. At the moment we are in the process of product certification and production projection, after finishing we would like to start massive enlightenment all over Europe, and we firmly believe that it will be successful. We already have many invitations to presentations and discussions about our project not only in Slovakia but also abroad. After finalizing the certification process, we will be able to embark on significant, substantial and much larger implementations. We can’t wait for it!
In England, we see a similar use or so-called plastic recovery. What about your ambitions?
Yes, similar projects are already going on in England, but we have noticed the most significant use of plastics in this segment in far India. However, there is not so much importance in recycling quality as elsewhere in the world, so the quality of the recycled roads is similar to their standards. In our conditions, such a road is significantly better, with a longer lifespan and better driving characteristics compared to the standard “asphalt road”. By plastic enriching, our company Viakorp expects to extend its service by more than three years.
The question now arises whether, thanks to your company, Slovakia will be the first country to start implementing asphalted roads with added value in the form of recycled plastics?
Of course, the goal of our company is, in addition to obtaining a patent, that Slovakia gains the status of the first country to use this way of road construction. Approximately 2.5 million tons of asphalt is produced annually. If plastic waste is added to each ton, we can reuse about 25,000 tons of waste. Also, this waste will be recovered forever because it can be reintroduced into production even after milling. It will never turn into a plastic waste product. We see this project as very meaningful for the environment and thus the help for the planet. We wish – and I am speaking for our whole society – to be a generation that already cares for the environment. We don’t see only business and profits. That is why we decided to devote a significant portion of the revenue from selling this product to help children in need.
Text: Bea Vrzgulová, foto: VIAKORP