Could Turning Plastic Bottles Into Roads Be The Future?

A Scottish company thinks it might have the answer to the single use plastic problem. They have turned 20 tonnes of recycled plastic into tiny pellets and laid them as the surface of a road - that's the equivalent of 6,000 plastic bottles.

The Linkwood Steadings housing development in Elgin, Scotland, is one of the first places to use the roads. Thanks to how flexible the plastic it is, the developers have said that it's actually more durable the traditional tarmac roads.

Credit: MacRebur
Credit: MacRebur

The company behind the invention, MacRebur, have said that the plastic would otherwise have one to landfill or incineration.

On their website, the company reveals how they came up with the idea.

It reads: "Our CEO Toby McCartney was was working in Southern India with a charity helping people who work on landfill sites to gather potentially reusable items and sell them.

"He noticed that some of the waste plastics retrieved by the pickers was put into potholes and set alight until it melted to form a makeshift plastic pothole filler. It sparked an idea to use waste plastic in roads here."

The way that they make the pellets is just as interesting.

The website says: "We take plastic waste collected from commercial and household use - the split is about 60 per cent commercial and 40 per cent household.

"We can use most types of plastic but it must be classed as waste - we don't use recycled or new plastic.

"We then use a granulator to turn this into small pieces of no more than 5mm. Next, the plastic granules are mixed with our activator - it's this that makes the plastic bind properly into our roads.

Credit: MacRebur
Credit: MacRebur

"Our activator is patented and what's in it is a secret! This blend of plastic granules and the activator - let's call it the MacRebur mix - then goes to an asphalt producer.

"We make sure that all the plastic we use melts at a temperature lower than this - around 120°C - so it homogenises properly without creating microplastics. It's for this reason that we can't use all plastic waste but we can use most things, including black plastic which is difficult recycle."

So there we have it - this could be the future of how we re-use plastic to avoid it going into water supplies and eventually the sea.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Amelia Ward

Amelia is a journalist at LADbible. After studying journalism at Liverpool John Moores and Salford Uni (don't ask), she went into the world of music. Quickly realising that you can't pay your bills with guestlist, she went back to her roots. In her spare time, Amelia likes music, Liverpool FC, and spending good, quality time with her cat, Paul. You can contact Amelia at [email protected]

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