Jul 11, 2019 10:33 AM EDT
There is a strong call to reduce and hopefully eliminate single-use plastics. Everyone has been trying their best to adhere to this cause primarily because everyone wants to do their share to save the environment. Countries all over the world have their own share of efforts to address this concern, but a Scottish company thinks that turning plastics into road materials may be the answer to putting an end to single-use plastic that pollutes the environment.
Their technology has turned 20 tonnes of recycled plastic materials into tiny pellets that they later used as the surface of the road. The stretch was equivalent to 6,000 plastic bottles. The Linkwood Steadings in Scotland is the first to use plastics on the road. It is by far more durable than traditional tarmac road perhaps because of its flexibility that allowed developers to work with it as they wish.
MacRebur is the company behind this great invention and they say that if they didn't work with the plastics, they would all end up in landfills or worse, the ocean. On their website, the company showcases the process that led them to the idea. It says, "Toby McCartney, our CEO, was working with people from Southern India. It was a charitable institution that provides help to people who are working in landfills to identify reusable items they could sell or reuse."
He noticed that the pickers were putting plastic into potholes and were set alight until there were melted to mako pothole fillers. Each piece formed a makeshift pothole filler and that was where the idea sparked. He thought of the possibility of putting together these plastic potholes as a way of repairing roads and building them from scratch. The process of making them can be likened to the making of pellets. "It is just so interesting," the website says.
The information from the website also reveals that the company collected plastic wastes from both commercial and residential space. 60% of the total trash collected is from commercial establishments while a good 40% is collected from the households. The company uses only plastic that has been classified as waste. They don't use recycled or new plastic items.
Once they have collected the items, they use a granulator to turn them into finer pieces. The smaller plastic granules are then mixed with an activator. It is a substance that binds plastic granules properly. This is how the granules are mixed with an activator substance to help keep a good plastic bind with the roads.
Their plastic activator is already patented and they call it the MacRebur mix. This technology could be the future of recycling. It could also mean the future that will save the Earth from total destruction.
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