Dust Control & Environment

Plastic waste recycled for Mordialloc Freeway

Packaging company Visy has signed a multi-year partnership to recycle its plastic bottles for Australia’s infrastructure and mines instead of sending them to landfill.

More than 570 tonnes of plastic waste will be recycled into around 32,000 square metres of noise walls for the Mordialloc Freeway project in Victoria.

The walls will be made out of 75 per cent recycled plastic, collected from houses across the state.

Half of this waste will be plastic from kerbside recycling bins. The other half will be made up of soft plastics, such as bread bags, food wrappers and bubble wrap, which are all materials that are notoriously difficult to recycle.

Made by the PACT Group, based in Carrum Downs, the noise walls will use the equivalent of 25,000 households plastic for the year.

This initiative came about through the Recycled First policy. Recycled First requires construction contractors on major projects in Victoria to demonstrate how they will optimise the use of recycled and reused materials on these transport projects.

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Following the use of the noise barriers on this project a state government initiative, Ecologic, has now developed new standards and specification for recycled noise walls. This will make the walls easier to replicate on future projects.

During production of the walls, PACT Group retained 70 staff at its site. The company delivered 32 panels each day and took 56 weeks to deliver the 32,000 square metres of panels required on the project.

Being quick and safe to install, at half the weight of steel or concrete panels, the plastic panels not only tick off recycling objectives but also improve installation times and meet traffic noise reduction requirements.

Roads and Road Safety Minister Ben Carroll said every time motorists travel along the new Mordialloc Freeway, they will be able to see tangible evidence of how we are making greener choices and reducing waste in transport infrastructure construction.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said we only have finite resources and projects like these keep waste out of landfill while giving old material a new life. It also creates crucial jobs for Victorians.

The Mordialloc Freeway is due for completion at the end of 2021.

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