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Recycled plastic... potential for solid ground?

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

The other day I mentioned the Return and Earn program in NSW, and shared a video clip that I felt was a little misguided in its praises.

To reiterate, I think the R+E program is totally great, but the end of this particular video claimed it was The Solution™ to plastic waste, which I didn't agree with.

However - there are some very good, sustainable, and clever uses for recycled plastic, that are actually superior to the current options in many ways.

One is plastic roads.

Quick comparison to asphalt roads:

  • Lower emissions to manufacture
  • More durable
  • Not prone to potholes
  • Easier to repair or replace damaged sections
  • Better water run-off
  • Much lighter
  • Up to 3 times stronger
  • More flexible
  • Can be pre-fabricated and laid down quickly
  • End of life - recycle again!

There are some drawbacks... For one, they're not yet rated for highways, so the plastic would likely be mixed with something like asphalt until that can be addressed. They're perfect for suburban and low-traffic roads.

There's also little mention of toxins and VOCs, although it does say that there'd be “less”.

It's such a promising alternative - watch for more innovations like this sneaking in around you over the coming months and years.

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