PLASTIC USED TO REPAIR ZERMATT ROAD
20th June 2019 | Jane Peel, Chief Reporter
Last modified on February 19th, 2020
In a pioneering environmental move the Swiss resort has used recycled plastic to repair a road. The shape of things to come?
Zermatt is already a car-free village with public transport provided by environmentally-friendly electric buses.
Now the resort in the shadow of the Matterhorn has used waste plastic that would otherwise have been incinerated or sent to landfill to re-surface a road junction.
We first reported the development in News in Brief on 14th June as the work was about to be carried out.
Now it has happened.
The plastic road used technology from the award-winning Scottish firm MacRebur.
“We hope this road will be the first step towards opening our first factory in Switzerland and it is an excellent opportunity to show the performance of our roads,” said Toby McCartney, CEO of MacRebur.
“Temperatures in Zermatt range from below minus 15 in the winter to up to around 30 degrees in summer, however, as our roads contain plastic, they are more flexible.
“This means they can cope better with the contraction and expansion caused by changes in the weather, reducing cracks and potholes.”
Ski resorts are increasingly taking action to try to go greener.
It will be interesting to see whether any will folllow Zermatt and use recycled plastic.
MacRebur says it is working worldwide to set up factories in Europe, America and beyond to allow plastic waste to become part of sustainable local circular economies.
The project in Switzerland is being led by Kirk Tinham, of Tinham & Co GmbH.
“I first heard about MacRebur from a friend I had surfed with whilst living in Bali several years ago,” Kirk Tinham said.
“Plastic pollution is a big topic among the surfing community so we agreed that MacRebur was a great idea.
“Although Switzerland has a fantastic recycling collection system in place, more than 80 per cent of the collected waste plastics are incinerated rather than repurposed.
“With the Swiss being proud of their fresh alpine air, this practice is particularly unpopular but with MacRebur, we have the potential to make use of the efficient collection system and reuse the waste plastic to create a greener outlook for the future.”
MacRebur says its roads are no different in appearance to regular asphalt but use technology which enables Zermatt to offset some of its plastic waste generation.
The asphalt was produced by Ulrich Imboden AG and laid by Pierre Pistorius, Zermatt Gemeinde.
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