NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 18th, 2019.
Recycled plastic could be used to surface Flintshire’s roads if a new trial proves successful.
The practice of repairing and re-laying roads with plastic waste has already been pioneered in some areas of England and Scotland.
However, the test-run being carried out by Flintshire Council is thought to be the first of its kind in Wales and could help to reduce the use of bitumen, a form of crude oil used to make roads.
The idea was first put forward by Connah’s Quay representative Paul Shotton last year after he read about similar initiatives elsewhere in the UK.
Since then, officers have been working behind the scenes with a local company to prepare a trial to compare the durability of plastic surfaces with traditional methods.
Officials have now revealed the first testing will go ahead in the near future as the authority looks to tackle plastic waste and potholed roads.
Speaking at a meeting held on Tuesday, Steve Jones, chief officer for Streetscene and transportation, said: “This is already happening in Cumbria and the company that’s laying out the material is actually coming down to oversee the trial.
“The plans are to do some patches with the new product and then do some patches in another location in the area with the conventional product so that we can see how they perform against each other.
“It’s quite an exciting piece of work as it would complete that circular economy.”
Earlier this year, the UK Government announced funding to carry out research into the effectiveness of plastic roads as a way of safeguarding the future of the nation’s highways.
Around £1.6 million was given to local authorities in England to extend the plastic roads trial in Cumbria to other areas.
The scheme sees recycled plastic turned into small pellets which are then added into an asphalt mix in place of bitumen.
The solution is said to increase the life span of roads and Cllr Shotton told a meeting of the council’s environment scrutiny committee he was looking forward to see if it works.
He said: “It will be a first for Flintshire once again in Wales.
“It’s already in action in Scotland and the north of England and I’m pleased that it’s moving forward.
“After the pilot scheme we can bring it back and see if it’s the success that I hope it is.”
Councillors will be invited to see the trial in action and the findings will be reported to a future meeting of the committee.
By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
Feature Image: Curbed