Can plastic garbage be a good thing? Well, MacRebur, The Plastic Road Company says it could be. The Scottish company says they can help eliminate the world Plastic waste Problem while improving the infrastructure. MacRebur uses plastic that otherwise ends up in landfills to open roads and repair potholes.
How much waste do plastic roads eliminate?
According to the BBC, around 684,000 plastic bottles or 1.8 million plastic bags are needed to create a one-kilometer paved road. To make this mixture, MacRebur takes plastic waste in its new Lockerbie facility and turns it into granules.
These granules are then mixed with an activator and other ingredients to bind the plastic. The product is then packaged and distributed to asphalt manufacturers who use it as an additive in road construction. MacRebur says its method also helps reduce the proportion of fossil fuels by removing bitumen. CNN reports that the use of plastic replaces about 20 percent of the oil-based oil traditionally used to make asphalt roads.
Plastic roads are more durable than traditional asphalt roads
MacRebur's method is not only better for the environment, it also says its plastic roads are 60 percent stronger. Her lab tests that her plastic roads could last up to three times longer. MacRebur's plastic pellets have been used in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand for road construction.
"Our technology means we can not only help solve the problem of plastic waste, but also produce roads that respond better to weather changes and reduce cracks and potholes," McCartney told BBC.
Plastic roads make financial sense
According to McCartney, MacRebur's plastic roads are more durable due to the flexible nature of plastic. The roads can even be recycled at the end of their lifespan Recycling that is sustainable and cost effective. "Although some disagree, McCartney says plastic is a really great product, so you just have to look at it with the right eyes.
"It takes a long time to become a problem if it's a waste product, but no problem if we want it to last," says McCartney.