We all know by now about the dangers of plastic to our environment. The artificial substance was invented in 1907 and quickly became a modern marvel that transformed just about everything in our lives. We use plastic now to store food and to make just about everything from car parts to baby bottles. As a matter of fact, non-plastic items such as glass soda bottles are pretty hard to find these days. But while plastic has helped advance our society and improved the overall quality of human life, it is also currently taking over the world in all the wrong ways. And the worst part is that plastic takes many years before it can break down in the environment, making it a hazard for humans, plants, and wildlife.
People have tried many techniques to tackle this issue. However, most of them have fallen short of a solution. However, that could soon change thanks to a UK company that has devised a clever way to recycle old plastic bottles while improving the quality of our roads at the same time! MacRebur developed a method of turning old plastic bottles into renewable asphalt. Not only is this an excellent solution, but it also lasts much longer than traditional asphalt. Here’s a look at how it’s done and what the company is doing.
Toby McCartney is the CEO of MacRebur. One day he was working in Southern India with a charity when he came up with an idea. During his time in India, landfill pickers would collect plastic and melt it down to turn into filler for potholes.
His company went on to create a new technology that created an upgraded form of asphalt that increases the durability and lifespan of the material. Plus, it also lowers its carbon footprint by reducing how much fossil fuel goes into the manufacturing process.
Basically, the asphalt is a blend of granulated plastic waste that’s mixed with an asphalt concrete formula used to make roads.
The type of plastic they have to use for this process is very specific. It must be labeled as waste, so they can’t use new or recycled plastic. The plastic that’s used in this asphalt must also melt at a specific temperature.
But, while most plastics can’t be used, most can. That includes the most difficult type of plastic to recycle, black plastic. Not only does this technique produce better asphalt, but it’s also a lot cheaper than the traditional way of making it. After all, they use waste that would otherwise be sent to a landfill.
When the plastic road is put down, it looks just like any other asphalt road, but it’s much more flexible. That means that as the road experiences heat and cold, it will suffer far less elemental damage.
Plus, since it is an enhanced form of asphalt, it tends to last three times longer and is 60 percent stronger. For drivers, this means fewer cracks and potholes in the road!
And not only can we use it on roads, but we can apply it to make driveways, airport runways, and parking lots.
This technology represents a win-win for humans and the planet!
It’s nice knowing that we still have viable options to help our environment. After all, it’s never too late to start making a difference.
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