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Sat March 06 2021

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Flintshire trials plastic asphalt mix

23 Jan 20 Flintshire County Council is the first local authority in Wales to trial road asphalt mixed with pellets of recycled plastic.

Roadway Civil Engineering & Surfacing lays the asphalt
Roadway Civil Engineering & Surfacing lays the asphalt

The council has been trialling the use of recycled plastic in asphalt to resurface a section of carriageway in Connah’s Quay.

Claimed benefits include better ability to cope with contraction and expansion caused by changes in the weather, thus reducing cracking and potholes.

Flintshire officers have been working with MacRebur, ‘the plastic road company’, which produces the recycled plastic product, and asphalt supplier Breedon Southern, which mixed the product into the material at its new plant in Llay. 

The asphalt has been laid by Roadway Civil Engineering & Surfacing, a subsidiary of Breedon Southern.

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Councillor Carolyn Thomas, Flintshire’s cabinet member for streetscene and countryside, said: “We are proud to be trialling this product in Flintshire which we believe is the first in Wales. Working with MacRebur, we are exploring the possibilities of producing product to be recycled into tarmac from our kerbside collections.”

MacRebur senior manager Sarah Lakin said: “Flintshire Council has an excellent attitude to circular economy innovations which hugely benefits the environment and population of North Wales. MacRebur products, which are now used globally, give the opportunity for Flintshire to reduce carbon emissions and fossil fuel extraction in surfacing projects, and may lead to recycling of their locally generated single use plastic waste in the not so distant future.”

Councillor Paul Shotton, who was instrumental in pushing for the trial, said: “We have been trying to get this product trialled for a while and, thanks to MacRebur and Breedon Southern Limited, it has now happened. It will be interesting to see how it performs and if we can roll this out across North Wales.  It should hopefully be more durable and make a longer lasting road surface.”

The recycled plastic material is added into the asphalt mix as a substitute for a percentage of the bitumen content. MacRebur was set up in 2017 by Toby McCartney, Gordon Reid and Nick Burnett and now sells its patented recycled plastic MR pellets internationally.

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