A PROCESS to build roads from recycled plastic bags and bottles should be introduced, or at least trialled, in Oldham.
That is the view of Crompton Ward councillor Dave Murphy, Oldham Council’s member for Neighbourhood Services.
Plastic pellets are produced from waste bottles and bags which melts into asphalt making for stronger roads and less waste, says Cllr Murphy. The roads are kinder to the environment and, manufacturers claim, longer lasting.
Councils, including Cumbria, Enfield and Dumfries and Galloway, have previously tested ‘plastic roads’.
The pellets are melted into the asphalt mix to act as a binding agent and plastic makes up roughly 0.5 per cent of the mixture.
Cllr Murphy said: “I understand highway officers from Oldham Council have previously looked at this idea but have concerns over the plastic leaching out in to the water course.
“I believe this idea has merit and I have asked officers revisit the scheme and have provided them with a contact at a company who specialise in the product so they can obtain more information.
“This can only be a positive move that we are encouraging Oldham to use. There will be less maintenance so we will be saving money.
“The formula makes the performance of the road much greater and part of the bitumen in the mix, that is fossil fuel is replaced by single use plastic.
“The world is using more plastics than it can responsibly dispose of. We have seen shocking images in the media of plastics in our oceans.
“It is only right that as a local authority we look at innovative ways to dispose of our waste plastics.”
Cllr Hazel Gloster, member for Shaw ward, added: “There would also be less landfill tax because we’re not sending plastic into landfill.
“Although, pellets are slightly more expensive than bitumen, bitumen depends on the price of oil so that wouldn’t necessarily always be the case.
“Also, it uses a lot less binder or using our analogy glue. So, there is a saving there.
“Instead of using bitumen, which is a product of the oil industry, it uses plastics which would normally go into landfill.
“So, it’s environmentally friendly as well as being a good, hard surface for the road.”