REDLANDS mayor Karen Williams says a project that will see recycled plastics used to resurface a suburban Cleveland street could change the way the state and federal government look at road upgrades.
Ms Williams said Green Roads PolyPave, an asphalt product containing reclaimed plastics, could be used on major projects like the Bruce Highway upgrade announced by the state government last month.
Redland City Council is working with recycling firm Alex Fraser and Suncoast Asphalt to resurface a one kilometre stretch of road at Princess Street, Cleveland.
It will be the first time a Queensland road has been resurfaced using reclaimed hard plastics.
Ms Williams said 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," she said.
"Obviously the environmental gain from a circular economy in the Redlands is going to be something residents appreciate."
Suncoast Asphalt general manager Brendan Camilleri said the council was paving the way forward for Queensland with its use of sustainable materials.
"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 per cent," he said.
"When we incorporate recycled plastics into Green Roads PolyPave it becomes part of the DNA of the road, meaning there is no issue with micro-plastics entering the environment."
Mr Camilleri said the process produced 43 per cent less CO2 emissions when compared with laying conventional asphalt.
"The addition of other recycled ingredients, such as reclaimed asphalt pavement, along with our energy-saving production methods further increases CO2 savings," he said.
Cr Williams said PolyPave 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 rate payers," she said.
"At the same time we are keeping the plastics out of landfill. Personally, I hope it (the Princess Street project) is the first of many.
"Obviously there is another level where we can start using glass and all sorts of other recyclables as well."
It 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.
The resurfacing work is due for completion on November 8, weather permitting.
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