In Early June SQS were excited to announce that we were going to be working with UK Power Networks, Surrey County Council and Aggregate Industries with regards to the first full utility hand lay reinstatement trial using MacRebur Limited’s waste plastic asphalt mix.

The bitumen in this new product has been replaced by plastic collected from household waste such as bottles, bags and packaging and the 17 tonnes of asphalt that has been supplied to SQS and UK Power Networks for the project will prevent 51kg of plastic (the equivalent of around 5,100 plastic bottles) from being incinerated or going to landfill which, in turn, will save around 160kg of carbon dioxide emissions from entering the atmosphere.

The trial has been mapped out in 2 phases.

Phase 1, which has now successfully been completed, took place under the supervision of Surrey County Council’s Laboratory and Aggregate Industries UK, with a range of testing being under taken during and after the works. The trial so far has been very warmly received and has even attracted the attention of both the highways magazine (See link here) and surrey’s local radio station, Eagle Radio (see link here)

Mark Baker, senior groundworks manager at UK Power Networks, said: ‘This is the first time waste plastic has been used on Surrey’s street works and if tests prove successful, this could pave the way for wider use by other utilities.

‘We’re always searching for innovative ways to reduce our environmental impact. In future, when we dig up the roads to upgrade, repair or make connections to our electricity networks, we could also be reducing the amount of plastic burnt or sent to landfill.’

Daniel O’Mara, director of street works at SQS, said: ‘This is the first major UK trial of this material constructed by hand. Hand lay reinstatements make up a significant proportion of the two to three million utility and highway authority excavations dug annually in the UK, so it is vital we understand its workability and performance.’

We would like to thank to thank all parties from UK Power Networks, Aggregate Industries and our own works Supervisors and operatives that have been assisting with this exciting project so far for their continued support so far. 

Phase 2 of the trial is set to commence shortly under the supervision of Kent County Council with further testing and analysis to be completed by the products creator Macrebur Limited We will be sure to post further updates as the trial progresses further.