Thursday, April 25, 2024

New Coles carpark created with recycled soft plastics

Coles has partnered with recycling organisations RED Group and Replas to create and install a concrete slab carpark made partly out of recycled soft plastics.

Under installation at Coles Horsham in Victoria, the carpark is claimed to be the first commercial construction project in Australia to make use of Polyrok (promoted as a sustainable alternative to aggregate minerals used in concrete, such as stone).

Made from plastic bags and soft plastic packaging recovered from the REDcycle program, Polyrock has the potential to divert 105,000 tonnes of soft plastics from landfill each year, if used in commercial concrete projects across Australia.

Replas Joint Managing Director Mark Jacobsen says that Polyrok reduces the carbon footprint due to the reduced thermal mass it provides.

“This tackles the plastic problem and climate change all while being fit for purpose,” he says.

“If innovative products like this were adopted in all buildings and car parks, the collective reduction in greenhouse gasses would be enormous.”

Coles State Construction Manager Victoria Fiona Lloyd adds: “As one of Australia’s largest food retailers, we know how important it is to support initiatives that help to close the loop with soft plastics.

“This project alone will help repurpose approximately 900,000 pieces of soft plastic, to be used in the carpark at the soon-to-be-completed Coles Horsham redevelopment.

“We’ve worked with RED Group, Replas and RMIT University throughout the whole development process and we’re excited to see how we can use this technology in more of our stores.”

More to come

This innovation comes as Coles celebrates National Recycling Week with other initiatives being launched this week. These include a new food waste diversion project in Queensland and new sustainability features at Coles latest supermarket in Chatswood, NSW.

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