British entrepreneur and engineer Toby McCartney has sought to turn the dreaded ‘plastic age’ on its head, transforming plastic into a truly reusable material.
McCartney is founder of MacRebur, a company that processes waste plastics destined to be incinerated or added to landfill and adds them into asphalt for road construction. This results in streets that are up to 60% stronger than traditional roadways and have a lifespan ten times longer than normal roads.
Each kilometre of plastic road uses the equivalent of 684,000 bottles, or 1.8m one-time use plastic bags.
The innovation won McCartney Virgin Media’s Voom Award 2016, and his plastic roads are used across England, Scotland, Australia and Dubai. The UK’s Department of Transport recently invested £1.6m to extend the use of plastic roads in the region of Cumbria.