A company has came up with a way to turn old plastic bottles into renewable asphalt that is 10 times more longer-lasting than the asphalt traditionally used for roads.
Given the well known environmental problems caused by excessive plastic use, this method could have an incredible impact on the amount of plastic waste being discarded and polluting our environment.
Since it’s invention back in 1907, plastic has become an essential part of our lives, being used for all sorts of things, such as food packaging, electrical appliances, car parts, toys – it’s literally all around us. One of the most common uses is plastic bottles and most of us go through a good few of these each day.
While plastic has been immensely useful and convenient, it’s also starting to take it’s toll on our environment. It can be hazardous for all kinds of wildlife, not to mention how ugly our natural surroundings can get when discarded plastic is left around everywhere.
There have been many initiatives introduced to minimize the use of plastics, and plenty of clever ideas to recycle old plastics.
This latest invention by the UK company MacRebur, is one of the best ideas we’ve seen yet when it comes to recycling old plastic, and it will improve the quality of our roads at the same time!
The technique involves turning plastic waste into asphalt that is much more durable and also cheaper than the asphalt currently used for modern roads.
Toby McCartney, the CEO of MacRebur was in Southern India, working with a charity, when this idea came to him. He saw how landfill pickers would collect old plastic and this would be melted down and turned into a filler for potholes. After seeing this, his company began to work on the new technology.
The asphalt created by this process is a mixture of the typical asphalt concrete formula and granulated plastic waste. It needs to be specifically ‘plastic waste’ which means it can’t be new plastic or recycled plastic. The plastics used must also melt at a specific temperature, and the good news is this includes the most difficult plastic to recycle – black plastic.
Roads created using this enhanced asphalt will look the same as any other road, but they will be able to sustain extreme temperatures better and will be more resistant to elemental damage. The roads should last ten times longer and have been proven to be 60% stronger.
An added benefit for drivers and commuters is that roads will remain in peak condition longer, so they’ll be smoother with less cracks and hazardous potholes!