Company recycles and converts waste plastic water bottles destined for landfills into roads
[August 13, 2021: The Brighter Side of News]
Toby McCartney, MacRebur chief executive, said: “Plastic packaging is a huge problem in the US, and a main contributor to the 80 million tonnes worth of waste being produced every year. “The US has around 4,071,000 miles of roads, so as we see it, MacRebur products could be the single biggest solution to the US plastics problem."
According to McCartney, “With each km of road laid using our MacRebur product, we use up the equivalent weight of 740,541 one-time use plastic bags - or put another way, one tonne of MacRebur mix contains the equivalent of 80,000 plastic bottles.”
Lockerbie-based MacRebur takes waste plastic destined for landfill or incineration and adds it into asphalt for road construction and surfacing to extend and enhance the bitumen binder.
Can plastic roads help save the planet? (CREDIT: BBC News)
MacRebur blends specific plastics with an activator that binds the waste plastic, which is then sold to asphalt producers. They use it to “extend” the bitumen in the asphalt, thus reducing the amount of fossil fuel used, explains the company in its media guide. “We are turning the plastic into its original oil-based state and binding it to the stone [in the asphalt] with the help of our activator. It’s not a case of burying rubbish in our roads. In fact, at the end of their life, our roads can be recycled so the plastic waste is used over and over again,” said MacRebur.
In the UK, MacRebur technology has been used by companies including Tesco, Asda and Arla. MacRebur is also working with Cumbria County Council on a £1.6m plastic roads project.
MacRebur’s US operations, following on from an earlier San Diego presence, will see the company working with national construction businesses as well as asphalt manufacturers, bitumen producers and pre-blenders.
Mr McCartney said: “MacRebur offers the perfect green alternative for construction companies and businesses in the US wishing to add environmental credentials to their builds. All of our products meet various worldwide roads standards and have been rigorously tested against standard asphalt, bitumen and Polymer Modified Bitumen. The US is at crisis point for its plastic waste, and we’re ready to offer a solution.”
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