The APL Blog

Recycled Plastic Walkway in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire bridges the gap between plastic and recycling

Watermead in Buckinghamshire has replaced a rotten wooden walkway with a new model constructed from recycled plastic. The new bridge, made from recycled plastic films and bottles, is predicted to last for 40 years, twice the length of time as the wooden original.
Centriforce Products

Centriforce Products, a Liverpool based manufacturer, created the walkway out of materials that would represent the best of both worlds; the bridge has a conventional wooden appearance and the resilience of plastic.

Plastic is naturally not degradable, which in this case is a distinct advantage. Recycled plastic is a long-lasting, malleable solution which can be ‘drilled, sawn and bolted just like wood’ according to Hugh Roberts, Environmental Consultant at Environments for People.


Recycled VS Biodegradable

This sensible use of recycled plastic is at risk from biodegradable plastic, though. In a previous article APL looked at how the introduction of biodegradable plastic carrier bags could damage the recycling chain, and fantastic constructions like the Buckinghamshire waterway could find their quality compromised.

If as little as 1% or 2% biodegradable plastic finds its way into reprocessed plastic film it could result in a negative impact on the overall quality. Low quality recycled plastic is a self-defeating product; the whole point of re-used plastic is to produce a long-lasting, superior replacement to the existing materials.

Biodegradable plastic bags could be one of the main contaminants of the recycling chain yet they will be exempt from the 2015 carrier bag levy. The Watermead waterway, on the other hand, is a much better demonstration of how we should all be using and reusing plastic.

Do you think plastic has useful potential, or is it just a problem? Let us know in the comments.

Until next time,

Dominic
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