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Exeter’s sustainable driveway solution made from plastics

Plastic waste collected from the seas and estuaries around the south west and sent to Exeter for recycling is now finding its way into patios and driveways around the country thanks to a sustainable new product.

Low grade ocean plastics and plastic from green bin collections that previously couldn’t be or was very hard to recycle are now being ground into tiny pieces at Exeter City Council’s Materials Reclamation Facility before being sent off to be made into the world’s first sustainable driveway patio pathway system.

The City Council recently invested in a special piece of kit that is able to shred and granulate the previously unwanted plastics.

The Council then partners with plastics firm Oltco, sending the tiny pieces of plastic to be turned into driveways, pathways and patios under the product name Recyclebase.

“This is another great example of the City Council working to protect the environment,” said Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for City Management.

“Without the product, the low grade waste would have been sent to landfill or incineration.”

The shredder and granulator was recently bought by the Council to break down the low grade plastics. The purchase was made possible thanks to part-funding from Odyssey Innovation and Plymouth University’s Indigo Project.

Every year over 8 million metric tonnes of waste plastic enter our oceans.

The City Council has partnered up with Odyssey Innovation for two schemes: Net Regeneration scheme and The Marine Regeneration Scheme, where other tricky ocean plastics such as fishing nets and ropes are recycled and turned into products such as bins, kayaks and surf goods.

Now being able to use the low end waste plastic and turn them into products means the Council can handle much more waste plastics that are found in the environment.

The City Council works with several initiatives and groups around the coastline such as Beach Guardian, Clean Ocean Sailing, Turning the Tide and Project Planet.

Plastics, including bottles, drums, crates and nets are sent to the City Council’s Materials Reclamation Facility (MRF) where they are sorted and sent for processing and then manufacturing.

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