Research and development (R&D) update: plastics in pavements

Other than in the medical field, the phrases “research and development” and “race against the clock” are not often used together. However, Australia is facing a crisis in terms of the 3.5 million tons of plastic we use every year, and the need to find domestic means of using it following a looming ban on exporting Australian waste. Australia’s elected officials have directed that this problem be solved quickly, as it needs to be, and have provided some resources for long-term resolution. Governments and Industry have both been mobilised to find ways in which waste products can be used as valuable assets. The use of plastics in roads is one such initiative. To date, several providers have demonstrated that plastic can be used in constructing an asphalt road surface. There is a lack of clear evidence of safety, value for money and recyclability of these demonstration products. The pathway to deliver security around the use of recycled plastics in roads rests on the development of clear well researched and performancebased specifications for each State agency to adopt. Without specifications, uptake will be very limited and an opportunity to use even a small slice of the plastic waste stream will be lost. This short research update provides an overview of work that ARRB is conducting with the aim of producing a specification by early 2021. Ordinarily development of a specification would take a matter of years, but in this case the need is so urgent that it will be done inside of 12 months.


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  • Accession Number: 01763381
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB Group Limited
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Feb 4 2021 10:28AM