Asphalt mix made from plastic bags and other waste performs well on Old Princes Highway at Engadine

An innovative asphalt mix that includes recycled plastic bags, glass bottles and toner from old printer cartridges is performing well a year after it was laid on Old Princes Highway, Engadine.

The road pavement shows no difference to that made from a standard mix, which was laid at the same time to provide comparison.

A Sutherland Shire Council report said both asphalt sections had been visually inspected every month and there had been no significant change to either from initial installation testing.

Laboratory tests had confirmed both mixes were performing well.

A total 280 metres of road pavement was laid, comprising 190 metres of the new product, Reconophalt AC10 and 90 metres of standard RMS AC10 asphalt.

Works were completed on August 3, 2018.

The Reconophalt mix included 176,000 plastic bag and packaging equivalents, 55,440 glass bottles, toner from 3960 used cartridges and 66 tonnes reclaimed asphalt profiling.

Sutherland Shire was the first council in NSW to trial the new product, in partnership with manufacturer Downer and the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA).

The report said Reconophalt had now been laid at over 20 demonstration sites in Australia.

The EPA approved the use of the new asphalt for 12 months at 20 trial sites, and the trial had been extended until November 2019, with specific environmental testing being undertaken.

"Until approval is given by the EPA, Reconophalt cannot be considered for wider use as part of council's roads resurfacing program," the report said.

"Once this has been achieved, it is expected that council will integrate this product into its specifications for use where appropriate."

The report said the road construction industry had been a strong advocate for the reuse and recycling of materials to produce improved construction materials that reduce the reliance on natural resources.