Fulton Hogan: Trial recycles plastic containers into asphalt

Mixed processes plastics

Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) has partnered with Fulton Hogan in a trial to resurface part of the Great Ocean Road with recycled plastic car components. Approximately three tonnes of recycled plastic, equivalent to approximately 730,000 plastic bags, will be incorporated into an asphalt mix, PlastiPhalt®, to aid the resurfacing of a 1.5-kilometre section near Lorne.

This project is the first in which the state’s regional road authority has utilized the PlastiPhalt mix on any of Victoria’s arterial roads. RRV Regional Director (South West) Emma Miller-Olsen said the plastic used in this mix was sourced from Geelong-based company GT Recycling, with the asphalt mix being blended at Fulton Hogan’s Lara asphalt plant. This trial is part of the Victorian and Australian governments’ joint $50 million investment to upgrade the Great Ocean Road.

“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” Ms Miller-Olson said.

A similar project, using the same PlastiPhalt® mix, is planned in Geelong for a combined 1,100 metres of road surface across three stretches of road. These works will divert approximately 3,500 kilograms of plastics from landfill. The Mayor, Councillor Stephanie Asher, said that. “Council is committed to finding new and innovative ways to use recycled products and support a circular economy, while at the same time providing quality infrastructure for the community.”

According to Fulton Hogan, PlastiPhalt® is made from plastics destined for landfill, which are shredded and then refined to an ideal size for incorporating into bitumen. Whilst also being more durable than standard asphalt, PlastiPhalt® can also be easily re-used as Recycled Asphalt Pavement to further support the circular economy. The new asphalt mix is laid as a ‘warm mix’ at a slightly lower temperature, further reducing overall carbon emissions of the process by up to 30 percent.

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