An innovative concrete filled with recycled plastic is becoming the material of choice for retail giant Coles and it’s being offered to councils as a sustainability solution for civic projects.
Polyrok concrete consists of about 95% Red Group post-consumer soft plastic waste with about 5% engineered recycled content to ensure maximum performance in concrete, according to its manufacturer, Replas. The Victorian company is touting it as a “superior product that has benefits over conventional concrete”.
“Specific plastic-to-cement binding technology has been tested to meet Australian standards, efficiently and effectively replacing conventional mineral aggregate while diverting plastic from landfill,”Replas stated.
Polyrok was first used in the exterior of the Coles’ refurbishment in Horsham, Victoria, and from there the supermarket’s Cobblebank development used more than six million recycled plastic pieces in its concrete pours for the carpark, kerbs and paths.
Coles state construction manager for Victoria, Fiona Lloyd, believes concrete is the main sustainability opportunity in construction.
“It is the biggest material used in every project, whether for Coles or a normal construction site,” Lloyd said. “We’re using it across most projects in Victoria. It’s starting to go out to the other states as well and becoming quite a standard for us to use. Where the site conditions will allow it, we are absolutely looking to implement that in most projects.”
Some councils are already using Polyrok in civic projects. Blacktown LGA in NSW recently used 12.6 tonnes of Polyrok for a new recreational pathway. Project manager Donato Lucci said it was easier to spread on-site.