An Australian company has developed a type of asphalt for making roads using waste products including plastic bags, toner cartridges and glass bottles.

Close the Loop, an international company based in Australia, in partnership with Downer EDI Ltd has developed the new asphalt, called TonerPave™, which has a high recycled content and low carbon footprint. The key ingredient of TonerPave™ is Modified Toner Polymer which has been developed over many years by Close the Loop.

More than 1,000 kilometres of road has been laid using TonerPave™. For example, a 300-metre stretch of Rayfield Avenue, Craigieburn, in Melbourne’s north uses polymer made up of 530,000 plastic bags, more than 12,000 recycled printer cartridges and 168,000 glass bottles.

The asphalt costs about the same as conventional asphalt and has proven to be better at handling extreme temperatures, require less maintenance and have a 23% lower carbon footprint.

The toner cartridges come from the “Cartridges for Planet Ark” programme which is run by Close the Loop and has collected 38 million toner cartridges for recycling since it began in 2003. The plastic bags are collected from supermarkets by another major recycling group.