The town of Rosemere, Que., is testing a novel product as a traction aid for icy roads: wood chips treated with magnesium chloride.

According to a report on CBC News, Rosemère Mayor Eric Westram said the town is switching from conventional materials to something more eco-friendly and more efficient.

“All this salt and all those materials end up in the river,” said Westram. “So if you want to be conscientious of the environment, you have to look at other alternatives.”

The wood chip product is sold as Eco-IceGrip, and is manufactured in Joliette, Que., by EMC3 Technology Inc. The company’s website says the material is a traction aid, suitable for pedestrian areas, parking lots and “side roads with light traffic or where the speed limit is below 40 km/h and covered with packed snow.”

The product is said to gradually release de-icer and become firmly set in the ice or packed snow. The company states that it can be used in conventional salt spreaders.