Plastic bottles used to resurface Budleigh Salterton car park as council battles climate change

A busy Budleigh Salterton car park is being resurfaced with an eco-friendly material containing tens of thousands of plastic bottles.

Council chiefs hope a trial at the popular Rolle Mews facility can help them cut carbon emissions and tackle climate change.

Traditional asphalt has been ditched in favour of an ‘innovative’ covering containing more than half-a-tonne of non-recyclable plastics.

The special ingredient in the Budleigh ‘bitmac’ will save 580kg of carbon emissions – the equivalent of driving 14,000 miles in a car.

It will also make the Fore Street car park’s surface more flexible and durable, says East Devon District Council (EDDC).

Work taking place this week will also see the site’s layout changed and 11 extra bays created – bringing the total to 57.

Boundary walls will be repaired and drainage improved as well.

The Rolle Mews scheme will see some 600kg of ground-up plastic – the weight of some 48,000 bottles – reused and save from landfill or incineration.

EDDC says the product, produced by MacRebur, reduces the amount of bitumen – a material obtained from crude oil and used to bind aggregate in road surfacing.

When the more eco-friendly surfacing reaches the end of its life, it can be excavated out and recycled again.

The Budleigh resurfacing project began on Monday and is due to be finished on Friday, February 28, when the car park will reopen.

Councillor Geoff Pook, EDDC portfolio holder for asset management, said the ‘innovative’ material offered a ‘promising solution’ to the authority’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.

EDDC, which is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2040, says its engineering department will continue to use ‘more sustainable materials’ for future projects.

The authority says that trees will also be planted in ‘unusable’ spaces in its car parks to absorb and store carbon dioxide emissions.

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