The Polyrok recycled aggregate is made from plastic bags and soft plastic packaging recovered from the REDcycle program, an initiative of the RED Group.
Polyrok has the potential to divert 105,000 tonnes of soft plastic from landfill annually if it is adopted by commercial concrete projects.
The concrete slab carpark at Coles Horsham marks the first application of Polyrok in Australia and in a commercial environment.
“As one of Australia’s largest food retailers, we know how important it is to support initiatives that help to close the loop with soft plastics,” Coles state construction manager for Victoria Fiona Lloyd said.
“This project alone will help repurpose approximately 900,000 pieces of soft plastic, to be used in the carpark at the soon to be competed Coles Horsham redevelopment.
“We’ve worked with RED Group, Replas and RMIT University throughout the whole development process and we’re excited to see how we can use this technology in more of our stores.”
According to Replas joint managing director Mark Jacobsen, Polyrok is three times lighter than mineral aggregate and has a smaller thermal mass, which shrinks its carbon footprint.
“Polyrok reduces the carbon footprint due to the reduced thermal mass it provides,” he said. “This tackles the plastic problem and climate change all while being fit for purpose.
“If innovative products like this were adopted in all buildings and car parks, the collective reduction in greenhouse gases would be enormous.”
Each cubic metre of Polyrok concrete laid is the equivalent of diverting 17,000 pieces of plastic packaging from landfill.
Due to its lighter mass, Polyrok has reduced transportation and installation costs, according to Replas.
“There is huge potential and opportunity for infrastructure projects to help us build a more circular economy,” the Federal Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Trevor Evans said.
“This is why the Federal Government has prioritised the development of new national standards and guidelines to encourage the use of recycled content in roads and other projects.”