Quantcast

Tasmania Builds Road From Single-Use Plastics, Glass and Printer Toner

Popular
Kingborough Council

A local government in Tasmania found a clever way to recycle single-use plastics and other landfill-bound waste by building a new road.

The 500-meter (1,640-foot) stretch outside the city of Hobart is made of approximately 173,600 plastic bags and packaging, as well as 82,500 glass bottle equivalents diverted from landfill, the Kingborough council announced Tuesday.


Toner from approximately 5,900 used printer cartridges and more than 33 tonnes of recycled asphalt were also repurposed to create the 330 tonnes of asphalt used to construct the road along Charlton Street in the town of Snug, the council added.

It's the first road of its kind in the Australian state.

The council built the road in order to reduce its environmental footprint, Kingborough Councillor Richard Atkinson told Australia's ABC News reported.

"If you work out how much single-use plastic is in this 500 meters of road, it's about equivalent of two years of single use plastic collected from Kingborough," he explained to the publication. "If it's successful we'll continue to use it for all the rest of our roads."

Although the product is more expensive, Atkinson said it would be cheaper for council in the long run. The road is estimated to last 15 percent longer than a regular asphalt road, according to ABC News.

"Council is thrilled to be leading the way in diverting products from landfill and using them in a sustainable and innovative way," Kingborough mayor Dean Winter in said Wednesday's announcement.

The council partnered with road construction company Downer, resource recovery and recycling companies Close the Loop and RED Group to build the road.

"Together with Kingborough Council and our partners, we have proven that with thought leadership and the tenacity to make a positive difference, we have set a new benchmark in the State when it comes to sustainability by creating new avenues to recycle and repurpose waste materials into new streams of use. It's all about pulling products, not pushing waste," Downer's general manager of pavements, Stuart Billing added in the announcement.

The concept of plastic roads is not new. In a fishing town on the southwest tip of India, a recycling plant collects discarded fishing nets and shreds them into material that's used to strengthen asphalt.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ocean pollution concept with plastic and garbage. Anton Petrus / Moment / Getty Images

Nestlé cannot claim that its Ice Mountain bottled water brand is an essential public service, according to Michigan's second highest court, which delivered a legal blow to the food and beverage giant in a unanimous decision.

Read More Show Less

A number of supermarkets across the country have voluntarily issued a recall on sushi, salads and spring rolls distributed by Fuji Food Products due to a possible listeria contamination, as CBS News reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Birds eye view of beach in Green Bowl Beach, Indonesia pictured above, a country who's capital city is faced with the daunting task of moving its capital city of Jakarta because of sea level rise. Tadyanehondo / Unsplash

If you read a lot of news about the climate crisis, you probably have encountered lots of numbers: We can save hundreds of millions of people from poverty by 2050 by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but policies currently in place put us on track for a more than three degree increase; sea levels could rise three feet by 2100 if emissions aren't reduced.

Read More Show Less
A U.S. Border Patrol agent gathers personal effects from immigrants before they are transferred to a McAllen processing center on July 02, 2019 in Los Ebanos, Texas. John Moore / Getty Images

Poverty and violence in Central America are major factors driving migration to the United States. But there's another force that's often overlooked: climate change.

Retired Lt. Cmdr. Oliver Leighton Barrett is with the Center for Climate and Security. He says that in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, crime and poor economic conditions have long led to instability.

"And when you combine that with protracted drought," he says, "it's just a stressor that makes everything worse."

Barrett says that with crops failing, many people have fled their homes.

"These folks are leaving not because they're opportunists," he says, "but because they are in survival mode. You have people that are legitimate refugees."

So Barrett supports allocating foreign aid to programs that help people in drought-ridden areas adapt to climate change.

"There are nonprofits that are operating in those countries that have great ideas in terms of teaching farmers to use the land better, to harvest water better, to use different variety of crops that are more resilient to drought conditions," he says. "Those are the kinds of programs I think are needed."

So he says the best way to reduce the number of climate change migrants is to help people thrive in their home countries.

Reporting credit: Deborah Jian Lee / ChavoBart Digital Media.

Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.

Chris Pratt arrives to the Los Angeles premiere of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" on June 12, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Michael Tran / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Chris Pratt was called out on social media by Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa after Pratt posted an image "low key flexing" with a single-use plastic water bottle.

Read More Show Less