MacRebur lays the first public roads in New York made of plastic waste
British company MacRebur, which makes products made from non-recyclable plastic waste, has worked with the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) to lay New York’s first public roads created from plastic waste .
Located on Rice Avenue and Royal Oak Road in Staten Island, the two roads are the first stages of a trial to see otherwise non-recyclable plastics “reengineered into a new, high-quality, sustainable polymer” and used in the asphalt mix. required for road construction.
Described as “eco-friendly surfaces”, MacRebur says the roads could save more than 7,331 kg of CO2e compared to traditional asphalt and diverted the equivalent weight of 214,534 single-use plastic bottles from the dump.
The company’s plastic waste additive replaces some of the bitumen (fossil fuel) binder in the asphalt mix. MacRebur and NYC DOT are working with asphalt producer City Asphalt to lay down four different types of asphalt mix, with the first mix containing only traditional asphalt and the other three each consisting of asphalt mixed with a percentage of MacRebur’s Plastic .
Matthew Cruz, General Manager of City Asphalt, added, “When NYC DOT told us about the trial using plastic waste in asphalt, we were initially reluctant because we didn’t have a lot of experience introducing new products in our new Gencor plant.
“However, as we researched the product and had the opportunity to talk to other asphalt plant operators, our reluctance turned into curiosity and enthusiasm. The opportunity to address a major environmental concern seemed too good to be true.
“With bituminous oil prices being so volatile, anything that can be done to reduce the use of this product in our mixes while providing our customers with the same high quality product they demand from City Asphalt is a plus.
“We commend MacRebur for their efforts to solve one of the biggest problems of the modern world, and we look forward to working with them to bring this new technology to the ‘Big Apple’.”
McDonald’s is phasing out plastic cutlery in the UK and Ireland
Fast food giant McDonald’s has announced plans to replace all plastic cutlery with a new paper-based material at all its restaurants in the UK and Ireland.
Made from “tough, renewable pressed paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)”, the company says the new cutlery will be “fully” recyclable and compostable. It will be gradually introduced into restaurants across England and Wales as McDonald’s phase out existing plastic products.
A switch from plastic to paper cutlery could see McDonald’s eliminate 858 metric tonnes of plastic a year across the UK. The chain has already introduced paper-based straws, new cups without plastic lids and developed cardboard salad boxes, saving 1,858 tonnes of plastic to date.
The announcement follows a “successful switch” from plastic to paper cutlery in Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland in the first half of the year. The company aims to ensure that customer packaging is made from renewable, recycled or certified sources and is fully recyclable and compostable by 2024.
Nina Prichard, Head of Sustainable and Ethical Sourcing at McDonald’s, said, “As a company, we are committed to taking action on packaging and waste and increasing our use of sustainable materials. We’re thrilled to announce another step forward in eliminating single-use plastics and it’s great to replace our famous McFlurry spoons with this new paper-based material.
Waste management company secured BEIS funding to explore hydrogen machines
ASH Waste Services has secured £175,844 in funding from the Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator (IHA) programme, to see if it can power its industrial machinery with hydrogen.
The scheme, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and funded through the government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, aims to see ASH use its grant to fund a feasibility study six months to determine if the company could power its industrial plants and equipment using low-carbon hydrogen instead of diesel and electricity.
The Wrexham-based waste management company could demonstrate an “end-to-end solution” that is technically and economically feasible to produce low-carbon hydrogen “efficiently and reliably”. It will examine industrial processes and equipment in the waste sector for alternatives to hydrogen with the aim of converting “more than 50% of its current equipment to hydrogen”.
A key benefit of the proposed solutions, the IHA points out, is “reducing carbon production throughout the value chain, from reducing waste to landfill, transportation costs and the fact that the production of hydrogen via the proposed process emits less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides per kg of hydrogen produced.