Australia could soon have roads surfaced with recycled waste from coffee cups
An Australian asphalt company is hoping it will soon be able to use discarded coffee cups to pave the country’s roads.
To make this happen, State Asphalt Services in western Sydney has teamed up with Simply Cups, a recycling program that helps turn paper and plastic cups into new products. The two entities were brought together by an organization called Closed Loop, which matches companies selling waste to companies that can turn that waste into fresh material.
State Asphalt Services has taken the different elements of used coffee cups — paper, plastic, lids, and liners — and turned them into cellulose, which binds a road surface together. A test strip held together with this substance has proven to be strong and able to withstand heavy trucks driving back and forth on it. “It’s a better performance product than what we were producing before,” State Asphalt Services director John Kypreos told The Guardian.
His company is getting closer to being able to use the product on actual roads in Australia, and Kypreos said the goal is to one day have a road made entirely of recycled material. He also hopes his collaboration inspires similar partnerships that can cut down on waste.