Home SCIENCE Can Plastic Roads From Plastic Waste Help Save The Planet?

Can Plastic Roads From Plastic Waste Help Save The Planet?

Engineer Toby McCartney explains how his Scottish start-up MacRebur is persuading councils to use local waste plastic to build roads. Two English councils have already started building roads this way.There are nearly 24.8 million miles of road worldwide in need of constant repair.

source/image: BBC News

Toby’s idea has the potential to chip away at the three major issues with road repair; reduce our reliance on bitumen which is a fossil fuel, create a new type of use for all our waste plastic and improve the quality of our roads as the plastic roads are less prone to potholes.

source/image: BBC News

By replacing bitumen in asphalt the firm believes they can make a significant reduction in fossil fuel usage and can use around 3kg to 10kg of waste plastics for every ton of asphalt created.


The technique relies on plastic pellets made from waste that would normally end up in a landfill such as polyethene packaging./borntoengineer

These pellets can be mixed with rock and a much smaller amount of bitumen in a normal asphalt plant meaning new construction equipment would not be required.If the companies promise of longer lasting greener roads is true this could be the first step towards a pothole-free cleaner planet.