Soft plastics cement Wyndham City's active transport strategy

Tuesday, 02 March, 2021

An innovative concrete mix incorporating soft plastic has been used to build a footpath in Werribee, Victoria. The 310 m footpath along Parker Street comprises Polyrok, a mix of recycled plastic bags and soft plastic packaging that is created using plastic-to-cement binding technology.

Wyndham City Climate Futures and Environment portfolio holder Robert Szatkowski said the new footpath has saved approximately one million pieces of soft plastic from going to landfill.

“Council is always looking for new ways to deliver our capital works program in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Szatkowski said. “Soft plastics have traditionally been among the hardest items to recycle, and Polyrok is an innovative and practical way to reuse these products.

“As well as being sustainable, this new footpath aligns with the Wyndham Active Transport Strategy, a 10-year plan to connect the missing links in our walking and cycling paths that make journeys on foot, bike, scooter, wheelchair and the like harder than they need to be.”

Szatkowski said Wyndham City would be spending $2.2 million on new and upgraded footpaths and shared paths over 2020/21, as part of the strategy. He said the Polyrok trial is another example of the council using environmentally sustainable materials to build and maintain Wyndham assets while reducing wastage.

“Last year, Council was a finalist in the Premier’s Sustainability Awards for a collaboration with Swinburne University to produce a footpath at Geddes Crescent Park in Hoppers Crossing using recycled plastic and glass,” Szatkowski said.

“If we could use recyclables in most of our footpaths and roads, as we aim to eventually, we could save thousands of tonnes of plastic and other materials from being sent to landfill each year.”

Image courtesy of Wyndham City.

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