From soft plastics to sustainable roads
Plastic bags, chip packets and other soft plastics are now being recycled into sustainable road surfaces thanks to the exciting collaboration between Plastic Police®, Downer and Close the Loop.
On World Environment Day 2019, the new state-of-the-art asphalt facility officially opened in Teralba which will see soft plastics collected through the Plastic Police® program turned into local roads in the Hunter and Central Coast.
Soft plastics, along with toner from printer cartridges collected by Close the Loop through programs like Cartridges 4 Planet Ark, are combined in a unique manufacturing process developed by Close the Loop to produce TonerPlas™. This is a ground-breaking asphalt additive that significantly enhances the characteristics of asphalt to build higher-performing, longer-lasting roads
TonerPlas™ is melted into the asphalt mix by Downer who add recycled glass and recycled asphalt pavement. The end product is Reconophalt, an innovative, sustainable and low carbon asphalt with improved performance characteristics when compared with traditional asphalt.
Every kilometre of two-lane road made with Reconophalt contains the equivalent of 530,000 plastic bags, 168,000 glass bottles and 12,500 toner cartridges.
The collaboration between Plastic Police®, Downer and Close the Loop will help save thousands of tonnes of waste from ending up in landfill.
Founder of the Plastic Police® program, Samantha Cross, said: “We are proud to be collaborating with Downer and Close the Loop on this exciting circular economy initiative in the Hunter and Central Coast.”
“It is fantastic to see soft plastics collected by the local community being recycled into Reconophalt for use on local roads.” Samantha said.
“We are already collaborating with a number of councils in the Hunter and Central Coast region to collect soft plastics from the community, and we look forward to working with many more and to see more sustainable roads.” She said.
“This collaborative initiative sets a new benchmark in sustainability and innovation.” She said.
Soft plastics are being collected by local councils and organisations participating in the Plastic Police® program.
Central Coast Council recently poured their first road made using Reconophalt at Boomerang Road Long Jetty. Read more here.