Plastic waste paves the way for Port Phillip's first "recycled road"

In a Victorian first, a new eco-friendly asphalt incorporating recycled plastic is transforming a St Kilda street into a sustainable surface.

Eight hundred kilograms of predominantly automotive industry plastic waste - equivalent to the amount of plastic in 180,000 plastic bags - is a key component of the asphalt laid along Mozart Street this week.

The two year trial, a partnership between Port Phillip Council and Fulton Hogan, is expected to deliver a more durable road surface while diverting commercial plastic waste from landfill.

“While Mozart Street was named after the composer, we hope it will also be known as the first of many “green” roads across Port Phillip,” Mayor Dick Gross said.

“Our Council is continually looking at ways of increasing and encouraging sustainability. If we get the results we are expecting, this is a win for our community and the environment,” Cr Gross said.

“It’s also a great example of how creating a circular economy for recyclables can breathe new life into waste which would otherwise go to landfill.”

Fulton Hogan shreds commercial plastic waste, which would otherwise end up in tips, and then combines it with a specially selected binder to produce its PlastiPhalt® product. In good news for the Bay and its vulnerable marine life, this eco-friendly product does not contain micro-plastics.

As a new speciality product, PlastiPhalt® is marginally more expensive than standard asphalt. This will be offset, however, by its expected extra durability. The cost will reduce as the product becomes more widely available.

Background

Mozart Street was chosen for the major trial as it already required resurfacing and offered a 2000 square metre section of road for the treatment. About 224 tonnes of PlastiPhalt® was applied after the previous standard asphalt surface was removed for recycling.

Council and Fulton Hogan will regularly monitor the performance of the new surface during the trial. A smaller, preliminary test in Middle Park ahead of the major trial has provided encouraging results.