Scottish company using recycled plastic to pave roads

Updated Nov 17, 2019
Screen shot from CBS video.Screen shot from CBS video.

A Scottish company has invented a way to recycle hard-to-use plastic into a material for use in paving roads and highways, everything Lubbock reports. The plastic is ground up and mixed with a secret ingredient to form a material that replaces some of the oil-based bitumen used in asphalt paving. The mix is said to look and feel like regular asphalt.

“It has all the ecological, environmental benefits, but to your ordinary punter, you don’t see any difference at all,” says Christopher Boyle, who co-founded the company, MacRebur, with Toby McCartney and paved his driveway with the material that used the equivalent of 750,000 ground up plastic bags and bottles along with other hard-to-recycle plastic. The plastic mixture is made at a plant in Scotland and then bagged up and shipped to asphalt manufacturers.

“For every ton of bitumen we replace, we save a ton of carbon emissions,” says McCartney, according to the news agency, “so for the environment, it’s the way forward.”

MacRebur is paving plastic roads from England to San Diego, where the company is opening a new factory.

McCartney told the news agency that he believes the material is a long-term solution to the world’s plastic problem. “It’s the stuff that nobody else can use,” he said, adding that plastic pavement can curb the world’s plastic epidemic. “It’s destined for landfill or for incineration. We can take all of that plastic, and we can recycle it in our roads.”