Queensland engineering firm Fibercon is claiming a milestone in recycling, having reused more than 50 tonnes of plastic waste.
The plastic has been used in the company’s Emesh product, which replaces steel mesh in reinforced concrete. The technology was codeveloped with researchers from Queensland’s James Cook University.
Since its first use last year, the Emesh product has been used by councils predominantly in footpaths, but also has applications from pavement concrete to channel drains, embankment erosion control, precast sewer and stormwater pits.
According to a report prepared for the Department of Environment & Energy in 2016 Australia averages 107kg of plastic waste per person each year. “So we have effectively recycled the plastic waste for 467 Australians,” explains Fibercon CEO Mark Combe.
By using the recycled plastic technology Fibercon has also seen a reduction to date of 1000t of CO2, 200t of fossil fuels, and saved 18,000m3 of water. “According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency calculations, the reductions we have achieved in CO2 emissions, are the equivalent of taking 214 passenger cars off the road for 1 year,” adds Combe.
“Plastic fibres in concrete have been around for 20 years – what is new about our product is that it is 100% recycled. The intention is to do something to give back, to close the cycle of useless waste,” he adds.
1300 002 748