Tasmanian govt expands use of recycled materials in roads – Australia

Posted on August 2, 2022 by DrRossH in Plastic Recycling


“The new plant incorporates cutting edge technology that supports production of road surfacing material with a high proportion of recyclable material,” he said. “Reconophalt is a…road surfacing product developed by Downer incorporating material that would otherwise end up in landfill. That includes soft plastics, ground glass from domestic recycling, road millings and recycled asphalt paving and waste toner. As well as producing a robust road surfacing product, we are helping communities turn their waste products into value-added material and avoiding use of virgin materials.”

Since 2018, Downer has laid 10,397t of Reconophalt in Tasmania in diversion from landfill of:

  1. 6,476,000 plastic bag equivalents;
  2. Toner from 189,000 toner cartridges;
  3. 2,629,000 glass bottles; and
  4. 960 tonnes of recycled asphalt paving material.

We should not kid ourselves that this is recycling.  It is not, it is a one more reuse and that is the end of life for that plastic.   Recycling by definition is to be able to reuse the material to be able to make more of similar products.   That way we are displacing use of virgin materials.    Example, if 1 million plastic bags are made and used in road making on their disposal, then we still have to use virgin materials to make the next 1 million bags.   This is not recycling, it is not a circular economy.