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The Great Plastic Road

The Great Plastic Road

Great Ocean Road Section Resurfaced Using New Asphalt Mix

A section of the Great Ocean Road is being resurfaced using thousands of kilos of recycled plastic car components, as part of a ground-breaking new trial for Regional Roads Victoria.

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More than three tonnes of the recycled plastic, the equivalent of around 730,000 plastic bags, is being incorporated into a new asphalt mix, called PlastiFelt for the 1.5 kilometre section near Lorne.

It is the first time the state’s regional road authority has used the PlastiPhalt mix, which serves as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional asphalt, on any of Victoria’s arterial roads.

RRV Regional Director Emma Miller-Olsen said the plastic used in the new asphalt mix had been sourced from Geelong-based company GT Recycling, diverting a significant amount of plastic from being sent to landfill, while the asphalt mix is blended locally at contractor Fulton Hogan’s Lara asphalt plant.

“This project will save an amount of plastic equal to about 300,000 plastic bottles from entering landfill,” Ms Miller-Olsen said, “We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the sustainability of our roadbuilding and repair practices, and this represents a significant step forward for us in terms of using recyclable materials, particularly when we’re improving the Great Ocean Road – one of the state’s most famous assets.”

In order to further reduce the carbon footprint of the trial, the existing road surface in Lorne is also being recycled back into the new surface after being dug up, forming close to 10 percent of the new surface. The new asphalt is being laid at a slightly lower temperature as a ‘warm mix’ rather than a ‘hot mix’, which further reduces the carbon emissions of the trial.

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