Aiming at reducing the negative impact of plastic pollution on our planet, a company from the UK called MacRebur came up with a groundbreaking solution: turning plastic waste into roads. Not only is this idea very environmentally-friendly, but it also produces roads that are stronger and last longer than regular asphalt roads.
At Bright Side, we are always on the lookout for brilliant solutions that can help us recycle, reduce, and reuse our resources, so we are thrilled to tell you all about this innovative idea.
The idea was born when CEO Toby McCartney was working with a charity in Southern India that helped people who worked at landfill sites as pickers. A part of the plastic collected was melted into potholes to create fillers.
With this technology, the lifecycle of a commonly used material contained in regular asphalt can be extended with the plastic waste mix that the company makes. It also reduces the amount of fossil fuel used in the process, which is great for the environment.
Basically, what they do is take a blend of plastic waste, granulate it, and add it into the asphalt concrete formula that is used to make roads.
Not every type of plastic can be used for this. It has to be labeled as waste, so no new or recycled plastic. Because making asphalt requires heat, all the plastic used needs to melt at a specific temperature.
Even though some of the plastic materials don’t make the cut, most of it does, including black plastic, which is very difficult to recycle. The roads built with this technique are also cheaper because they use waste that has no value or would cost the city money to ship to a landfill.
The roads that contain plastic look just like regular roads, but they are more flexible. For that reason, they cope better with everyday weather damage. Being a type of enhanced asphalt, these roads are 60% stronger and last 3 times longer, which reduces the appearance of cracks and potholes.
This mix can be applied not only to roads but also car parks, motorways, airport runways, and race tracks.
Initiatives like this show us that more can be done to help save what is left of our planet and bring a positive attitude toward the future of sustainability.
Do you believe this solution should be adopted worldwide? Are there any other clever environmentally-friendly ideas you know of that made you say “Wow”? Share with us what you think!