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Cleveland sets new standard for use of recycled plastic


By Julia Contrucci

A suburban Cleveland street could change the way the Queensland and federal government look at road upgrades.

This month, weather permitting, the one-kilometre stretch of road at Princess Street will be the first state route resurfaced using reclaimed hard plastics.

When compared with conventional bitumen, PolyPave asphalt produces 43% less CO2 emissions. “This is an outstanding example of how local governments can harness recycling to build and maintain their cities and reduce their projects’ carbon footprint by up to 65%”, said Suncoast Asphalt general manager Brendan Camilleri. The company, alongside firm Alex Fraser, has been working with Redland City Council.

Redlands Mayor Karen Williams said Green Roads had greater upfront costs but would be more affordable in the long run. “These pavements are going to last longer and so the whole-of-life costs of building roads like this will be a saving for the bottom line of ratepayers”, she said.

Ms Williams stated projects like these would reduce the amount of waste that was put into landfill. “We want to make sure that plastics don’t end up in the places they are not supposed to be. Obviously, the environmental gain from a circular economy in the Redlands is going to be something residents appreciate”, she said.

The project comes as pressure mounts on the federal government to take steps to ensure recyclable products like plastics are reused or reprocessed in some way.

Australia traditionally has exported used plastics to countries like China, Malaysia and Indonesia who last year banned them, causing tonnes of the material to be dumped in Australia.

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