Plastics, glass and printer toner recycled into road in Tasmania
The road costs more, but is estimated to last 15 per cent longer than a regular asphalt road (ABC News: Carla Howarth)
For the first time in Tasmania, a council has used thousands of recycled glass bottles and plastic bags to build a road south of Hobart.
The stretch of road, on Charlton Street in Snug, uses an additive made up of 530,000 plastic bags, 168,000 glass bottle equivalents and toner from 12,500 cartridges in each kilometre.
The council was trying to reduce its environmental footprint, Kingborough councillor Richard Atkinson said.
“If you work out how much single-use plastic is in this 500 metres of road, it’s about equivalent of two years of single use plastic collected from Kingborough,” he said.
“If it’s successful we’ll continue to use it for all the rest of our roads.”
Stuart Billing (left) , Nerida Mortlock, and Richard Atkinson (right) are keen to test out the road additive in Tasmanian conditions. (ABC News: Carla Howarth)
He said it would be cheaper for council in the long run.
“The product is more expensive but it’s going to last longer,” he said.
It is estimated the road would last 15 per cent longer than a regular asphalt road.
The new plastic and glass road surface may be rolled out on other Kingborough roads if it’s successful. (ABC News: Carla Howarth)
Single-use glass has also been used, said Stuart Billing, who is the general manager of pavements at road construction company Downer.
“It can’t be used for recycling back into glass, and it’s crushed down to almost like a sand and we incorporate that at our asphalt plant,” he said.
“We’re able to take what would ordinarily end up in landfill or potentially contaminating our environment and we’re actually able to make use of them.”
Mr Billing said a number of Tasmanian councils had contacted the company about using the product.
Nerida Mortlock from Close the Loop Australia believes the product is a ‘game changer’. (ABC News: Carla Howarth)
The additive was developed by Close The Loop Australia, a company which is trying to minimise plastic waste.
The product is a “game-changer”, according to Close the Loop Australia’s general manager, Nerida Mortlock.
“Soft plastics don’t disintegrate well in land fill,” she said.
“What happens here is it’s melted down into an additive. There’s no micro plastics, there’s no pollution problems whatsoever.
“If all councils get on board we can actually make a difference in Australia.”
Plastic bags and old printer cartridges have been turned into a road additive. (Supplied: Close the Loop)