According to a new study from the Swinburne University of Technology, recycled plastics and glass fines could soon be used in the construction of footpaths instead of going to landfill, providing a sustainable alternative to excessive material waste.
It is estimated that approximately 100,000 tonnes of flexible plastics end up in landfill each year, and only 48 percent of glass waste is recovered for recycling, according to Sustainability Victoria. This is an astronomical number and has given rise to numerous ideas to drastically increase this percentage.
One such idea came from the research team at SUT, who found that recycled plastic and glass fines could be incorporated into concrete footpaths. The method used would still adhere to standard requirements and would not compromise the mechanical properties of the concrete.
The next step for this project is to bring in support from include local governments and industries to support and contribute to the increase of recycled content in footpath construction.
“The use of recovered plastics and glass fines in concrete footpaths will divert significant quantities of these materials from landfill, while reducing the demand for virgin construction materials,” said SUT’s Dr Yat Choy Wong.
This research project is one of seven that seek to investigate new ways to increase the use of recovered glass and flexible plastics.