Life
Company paves roads from plastic waste that last ten times longer than asphalt
An engineer witnessed an ingenious move when he was working in India and decided to bring it back to his country.
Jaclyn Abergas
07.12.22

What can we do with the waste plastic that continues to pollute the planet?

Plastic takes a long time to break down.

And not all plastic can be recycled or reused. In fact, only 9% of the world’s manufactured plastic can be recycled. The rest are either incinerated, still in use, or in landfills.

Plus about 8 million tons of plastic waste escape out into the ocean every year, endangering the lives of sea animals.

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YouTube - BBC News

So what can we do with them?

Engineer Toby McCartney was working at a charity in Southern India when he got the idea for MacRebur. This charity helped “pickers” or people who worked at landfill sites.

They gather plastic that can still be reused. But then they also managed to gather plastic that was no longer reusable and they placed it in road potholes.

They poured diesel over them before lighting it up, burning the plastic and becoming a makeshift plastic pothole filler.

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YouTube - BBC News

An idea the world can use

When McCartney returned to the UK, he wanted to bring the same idea to the country.

For McCartney, it was a great idea that solved two problems: solve the waste plastic epidemic and enhance the asphalt used for road surfaces.

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YouTube - BBC News

Would UK authorities be receptive?

McCartney sought the help of his friends, Nick and Gordon, to develop the company. Together, they developed the right product to deliver their promise.

They created a mix of waste plastics, granulated, transformed them into small pellets, and added them to the asphalt mix for the roads.

Our roads are paved with an asphalt mix of rock, limestone, sand, and bitumen. Bitumen is made from crude oil and produces harmful emissions released into the atmosphere.

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YouTube - BBC News

The plastic pellets will and can replace a significant portion of the bitumen, lessening the harmful emissions and air pollutants.

And since plastic isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s good to know that it can be converted into a product that helps reduce our environmental problems.

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YouTube - BBC News

It’s not the perfect solution but it is a solution.

MacRebur is still a start-up company and they’re still doing what they can to convince more cities and companies to use their asphalt mix for the roads.

They are hopeful the product will pick up since the plastic asphalt is cheaper and will last longer.

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YouTube - BBC News

And it’s not just for roads.

The plastic asphalt mix can also be used for driveways and sidewalks.

In fact, McCartney practiced what he preached and he used the plastic asphalt mix on the roads leading to their plant.

There’s no difference in the processing and application of the plastic asphalt mix with the conventional asphalt mix.

YouTube - BBC News
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YouTube - BBC News

MacGruber did its best to make sure its product meets world standards.

Cumbria County was the first local council to use MacGruber’s plastic asphalt mix, followed by County Durham and Coventry Council.

And now the UK Department of Transport has chosen to trust and use their plastic asphalt mix for more roads in the UK, as a study to prevent potholes.

YouTube - BBC News
Source:
YouTube - BBC News

Learn more about McCartney’s inspiration for MacRuber in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Jaclyn Abergas
hi@sbly.com
Jaclyn Abergas is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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