Frankston City Council and Replas Pour Sustainable Aggregate Footpath Using Soft Plastic

Published on 24 November 2020

Replas and Frankston City Council have teamed together with Frankston Sand and Soil and SR Engineering to install a concrete footpath using recycled soft plastic collected through the REDcycle program at Coles and Woolworths.

This footpath is the first council constructed project in Australia using Polyrok - a sustainable alternative to mineral aggregate in concrete for pathways, kerbs & channels that find a home for the most problematic waste stream, soft plastic.

Using soft plastic material, like frozen pea bags and bread bags, from the REDcycle program, Replas is challenging every Council in the country to get on board to be part of the solution for their plastic waste.

If each Council in Australia committed to just one kilometre of footpath, 1,900 tonnes of Polyrok (470 million pieces of soft plastic material) would permanently become part of the communities’ walkways.

Replas Managing Director Mark Jacobsen is proud to call Frankston City Council the first to trial Polyrok. “This innovative initiative will lead the way for all councils to take one of the most problematic plastics, soft plastic packaging, and use it in a fit for purpose, circular solution.”

Frankston City Council Deputy Mayor Nathan Conroy said the Council was proud to participate in the ground breaking initiative.

“Replas’ development of Polyrok and its use at Seaford align with our strong commitment to sustainability and the protection of our precious environment. It’s wonderful to see waste such as soft plastics being recycled to create vital infrastructure,” Cr Conroy said.

Cr Conroy said Polyrok had been incorporated in both a section of the footpath and retaining wall as part of the Hartnett Dve Local Area Traffic Management (LATM) plan in Seaford, which included the much-needed footpath.

Cr Claire Harvey added: “We’ve had a long association with Replas and used their products made from recycled materials such as street furniture across Frankston City.”

“This is one small part of Frankston City Council’s commitment to the use of recycled products in its infrastructure projects, which will benefit the community and ultimately the environment.”

“For years I’ve been taking all my soft plastic packaging waste back to the supermarket to be recycled, so to be here today and see the resource-recovery circle completed like this is really rewarding,” she said.

Federal Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management, Trevor Evans, welcomed the collaboration to find innovative and practical ways to reuse soft plastics. “There is huge potential and opportunity for infrastructure projects to help us build a more circular economy,” Federal Assistant Minister Evans said.

“This is why the Federal Government has prioritised the development of new national standards and guidelines to encourage the use of recycled content in roads and other projects.”

This latest innovation from Replas results in a superior product that has benefits over conventional concrete. Specific plastic-to-cement binding technology has been tested to meet Australian Standards, efficiently and effectively replacing conventional mineral aggregate while diverting plastic from landfill.

As recent recipients of the Connections Innovations Grant, Replas is focused on exploring and developing innovation in infrastructure products, which will be fast-tracked under the 2020 budget.

With opportunities for job growth in all areas across the country, and for investment in Australian made products, Replas is working toward solutions on a broad scale.

‘’As part of the Government’s economic recovery strategy, boosting large scale production through collaboration is a vital component, and products containing Polyrok have the potential to provide jobs, investment, and a scalable home for the world’s most problematic plastic – being post-consumer soft plastic packaging,’’ said Mark Jacobsen.

Frankston City Council have been customers of Replas for over 20 years. In the past three years alone Frankston City Council have diverted over 7.5 million pieces of soft plastic packaging by installing products like 150 mm bollards, Premier Benches, Wheelchair Access Settings, Dog Agility, and more. Frankston have shown sustainable procurement for their municipality through recycled plastic products and now as the first council to install Polyrok in a footpath.

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