Last year China stopped accepting much of the world’s recyclable waste. Since then, many countries have been faced with the challenge of how to deal with their own trash.
In Australia, however, recycling company Close the Loop has figured out a way to divert that trash from landfills and the environment to pave a road that contains the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of plastic bags, along with thousands of glass bottles’ and printer cartridges’ worth of waste toner.
The innovative process involves reducing the waste products down to their polymer forms and turning them into pellets called TonerPlas. The recycled pellets are then used by a major Australian infrastructure company to replace the virgin polymers, normally derived from oil, that binds the asphalt’s rocky material together.
In addition to the sheer amount of recycled materials the process is diverting away from landfills, the beauty of this environment-friendly approach is that it’s expected to last longer, making it effectively cheaper than other conventional roads.
The concept demonstrates a great step toward embracing a circular economy and sets a new benchmark in repurposing and recycling waste into new streams of use.