Australia’s First Road Incorporating Recycled Coffee Cups

Posted 03-03-2023
Category News

Penrith, NSW has become the first suburb in Australia to input a road that included recycled coffee cups in construction. The fibres from the cups will aid in creating a road that is reported to be safer and much quieter than regular asphalt, the road also accounts for a 24% reduction in carbon footprint.  The select sustainable asphalt is known as Pak-Pave and has been developed by State Asphalts NSW in close partnership with Closed Loop Environmental Solutions. Closed Loop managing director Rob Pascoe commented that this specific project has been 3 years in the making and that Pak-Pave is a substitute for a previously imported product made of crude oil from Germany.

The Pak-Pave roads pilot project is situated along a stretch of Jamison Road in South Penrith, NSW with a second project to be implemented shortly after on Swallow Drive in Erskine Park. Over 135,000 recycled paper cups / including coffee cups will be used in these two initiatives, accounting for 85% of the paper cups collected for recycling in the Penrith LGA in 2022.

Additionally, Pak-Pave roads will also incorporate 1.2 million glass stubbies along with reclaimed asphalt pavement and steel furnace slag. Collectively, the select materials will contribute to over 50% of all the materials used in the construction of the roadway.

Director of State Asphalts NSW John Kypreos has stated “It is exciting to be delivering a practical circular economy solution in partnership with Closed Loop, and we hope that other councils and state governments will start specifying Pak-Pave roads, both as a high-quality road surface and a product that uses a high percentage of recycled materials.”

Penrith Mayor, Tricia Hitchen also commented that the Penrith council is proud to be leading the way to becoming a more sustainable circular economy and ensuring that our roads are environmentally friendly.

The Simply Cups initiative has been in operation for over 6 years as of 2023, and in a partnership with 7-Eleven to collect paper cups from around the country. 

According to Managing director Pascoe, the Simply Cups campaign began six years ago in a collaboration with 7-Eleven to gather throwaway cups from all over the nation. He explained that many firms and small businesses are now becoming interested, and all they need to do to take part is install a dedicated collection tube for people to dispose of their cups in their office or store.

Individuals that wish to donate their paper cups can do so at nearby at over 630 7-Eleven stores across Australia.

Approximately 30 million paper cups have been collected in this way since the launch of Simply Cups, enabling recycling and preventing landfilling to promote a truly sustainable circular economy.


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