Councils Tackle Plastic Waste By Using Bottles To Tarmac Roads
A council is planning to fight back against plastic waste by recycling plastic bottles into local roads.
Enfield Council, which is controlled by Labour, have already resurfaced one road with a mixture of plastic and asphalt, and are planning on paving the way by using the mix on all of their streets.
The substance is tougher than normal and more durable than the standard, so in theory it should also reduce the number of annoying potholes.
Transport for London have given the council the funding to go on with their plans, which is aiming to fight the environmental impact of plastic waste.
Monitoring of the road has shown that the asphalt/plastic mix is performing well and is proving to be a long-term, durable solution for road resurfacing.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Daniel Anderson, said:
We all know that plastics can have a devastating impact on the environment, particularly when the product reaches our seas and oceans.
We all have a responsibility to step up our efforts to help the environment by recycling more, up-cycling and responsibly sourcing materials.
Enfield Council is delighted with this road trial and hope we can use more of the product across the borough to help divert plastics from landfill and reduce the carbon footprint for road construction.
It is currently estimated by Ocean Watch that there are 140 million tonnes of plastic in the world’s seas and oceans.
Over the past 50 years the production and disposal of plastics has rapidly multiplied, with less than a third of Europe’s plastic waste being recycled and the rest ending up in landfill in 2014.
There is a concerted effort away from using plastic, however, including a potential change in the law against plastic straws.
This action is in response to environmental concerns, with The Marine Conservation Society estimating the UK gets through an enormous 8.5 billion straws each year.
Plastic straws are among the top ten offending waste items found during beach clean-ups; having extremely harmful effects for wildlife who accidentally ingest them.