Zermatt, Switzerland, is taking a green approach to the resurfacing of one of the road junctions used by its electric powered e-buses. It is using technology from Scottish firm MacRebur which allows waste plastic – that would otherwise have gone to incineration or landfill – to be used in the asphalt.
Toby McCartney, CEO of MacRebur, said: “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.
“Temperatures in Zermatt range from below minus 15 in the winter to up to around 30 degrees in summer… 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.”
The project in Switzerland is being led by Kirk Tinham, of Tinham & Co GmbH. The asphalt will be produced by Ulrich Imboden AG and be laid by Pierre Pistorius, Zermatt Gemeinde.
“More than 80% of the collected waste plastics are incinerated rather than repurposed”
Tinham added: “I first heard about MacRebur from a friend I had surfed with whilst living in Bali several years ago. “Plastic pollution is a big topic among the surfing community so we agreed that MacRebur was a great idea.
“I recognised that this could be a great product for the Swiss market and took the initiative to call the MacRebur office to enquire about distribution and several weeks later my wife and I were on a plane headed for Scotland to meet the team. “Although Switzerland has a fantastic recycling collection system in place, more than 80% 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.”
“Allow plastic waste to become part of sustainable local circular economies.”
McCartney concluded: “Our roads have no difference in appearance to regular asphalt but by using our technology, Zermatt is able to offset some of its plastic waste generation. We are working across the world to set up factories in Europe, America and beyond to allow plastic waste to become part of sustainable local circular economies.
“We are very proud to be working in Switzerland, a country known for its cleanliness, and the fact that our product will be used in sight of the famous Matterhorn shows that we are a sustainable and high-quality choice for better roads everywhere.”