Plastic fantastic: waste used to create temporary car park

A ‘plastic’ temporary area for parking has been created at the landmark The Events Complex Aberdeen (TECA) site.

The venue, which has been tipped to provide a significant ecomomic boost for the area and attract major perfromers, recently opened to much acclaim.

Robertson, the main contractor on the project, completed work to provide a temporary area for parking which has been made from asphalt containing three tonnes of waste plastic.

Working with Lockerbie-headquartered MacRebur, the team will engineer a temporary area for vehicles to park near the Hilton Hotel within the TECA complex. The area will only be used when the subterranean space at the venue cannot be used as a car park.

Kevin Gallacher, MD for Robertson Civil Engineering explained, “This is the first time waste plastic has been used to create a road in the city of Aberdeen. At Robertson we have a clear commitment to sustainability, and we are always looking for innovative ways to deliver for our clients. This new product takes a significant step to combat the effect of our harsh climate on road surfaces, but more importantly diverts reusable waste plastic from landfill. Working in collaboration with MacRebur, who developed the technology, the completed surface will cope better than traditional asphalt roads because it will withstand contraction and expansion caused by changes in the weather, which can create potholes and cracks and prove costly to repair.”

The recycled plastic product will cover an area of 4,600m2. Robertson explained that, traditionally, civil engineers would use asphalt made from a composite of bitumen and stone. However, with the introduction of this technology, part of the composition is replaced with waste plastic.

 It works by turning the plastic back to its original oil-based state, reducing the need for fossil fuels and resulting in fewer carbon emissions.

 Toby McCartney, CEO of MacRebur said, “We’re delighted that our product is being used at this high-profile development. This demonstrates Robertson’s commitment to making choices in construction which help to protect the environment, setting an example in the industry.”

 The waste plastic is a ‘carefully selected mix’ that is turned into granules and then melted and blended with stone to make asphalt. MacRebur uses plastic that melts at the temperatures used to make asphalt so that it homogenises fully without creating microplastics.

The MacRebur waste plastic-enhanced asphalt was supplied and laid by Leiths.