Toner Cartridges Driving The Circular Economy?

It’s fair to say that we’ve had some pretty extreme weather here in the UK over the last month or so, with red weather warnings hitting most of the nation at some point or another and temperatures unexpectedly reaching close to 40°C.

Most of our infrastructure isn’t made to cope with with these circumstances – roads included, with most drivers cautious over whether our tarmac roads will be able to hold their own against mother nature.

According to CEO of MacRebur, Toby McCartney, there could be a solution to this, and it’s one which would also play a major part in aiding the idea of a circular economy. Based in Turkey, his company looks to use waste plastics that are destined for landfill to instead help to build roads, not only making them stronger and more heat-resistant, but also more environmentally friendly.

McCartney said “There’s waste plastics everywhere. But plastic is a really good thing, a really good product. The challenge is what to do with it once we’ve used it, it then goes to landfill and then incineration. We have the ability to take some of those waste plastics before they get to landfill – and we have a formula that allows us to use those waste plastics to replace bitumen, which is the black oil that you get in a road mix that sticks the stones together to form a road.”

Doing this not only prevents plastics from ending up in landfill but also reduces carbon emissions as bitumen no longer needs to be imported, saving around 11kg of carbon per one tonne of asphalt that’s made.

In terms of the positives for the roads, plastic’s melting temperate can be made to be much higher than bitumen, which means it’s much more durable for usage on roads in high temperatures and naturally warmer countries. Plastic is also better than bitumen in cold temperatures – where bitumen will shatter but plastic won’t.


Unfortunately for the UK, at this moment in time, restrictions over the standards of roads prevent the use of waste plastics and only allow for bitumen.

Give us your thoughts at