Council takes sustainable approach to concrete projects

Published: 08 Mar 2022

Mackay Regional Council is set to become the first organisation in Queensland to use an innovative and sustainable recycled aggregate replacement in concrete pours.

The Wonder Recycling Rewards program has donated three and a half tonnes of Polyrok to use in future community infrastructure projects.

Polyrok aggregate, produced by Victorian-based business Replas, is made from recycled soft plastic and is incorporated into concrete in place of mineral aggregate.

Using state-of-the art technology, Replas has developed the Polyrok product in conjunction with RMIT using the soft plastics placed in REDcycle bins located outside Coles and Woolworths supermarkets.

Mayor Greg Williamson said this was a significant coup for council as we look to continue our drive toward a sustainable future.

“Polyrok is a great end use for soft plastics that would otherwise go to landfill or end up in our oceans. These three and a half tonnes of Polyrok represent 830,000 plastic bags,” Mayor Williamson said.

Mayor Williamson congratulated the students at Walkerston State School who collected plastic bread bags in 2021 as part of Goodman Fielder’s Wonder Recycling Rewards program.

The program collected more than six tonnes of bread bags in schools across Australia.

“Every bag that our community can collect in programs like this one, and at the REDcycle collection points, means fewer soft plastics go to our Materials Recovery Facility, where they need to be separated out, creating processing delays and increasing our landfill costs.

“Walkerston State School students have done a commendable job in being a part of the solution for soft plastic waste,” he said.

More than six tonnes of bread bags were collected through schools across Australia as part of the Wonder Recycling Rewards program.

Mackay Regional Council was awarded the lion’s share of the original 6.4 tonnes of Polyrok on offer given Mackay’s significance as a turtle breeding location.

“As a council, we are committed to being a reef guardian, and by using this amazing product we are able to play a role in reducing the number of plastics that are ending up in our oceans and causing harm to our turtles,” Mayor Williamson said.

Goodman Fielder Australia head of Marketing and Category, Christine Fung, said, “Across the Wonder Recycling Rewards Program, over 1000 schools, including Walkerston State School, helpled to collect more than 6036kg of soft plastics in 2021, the equivalent of 1.7million bread bags that might otherwise have ended up in landfill.

“These soft plastics have been used to create Replas play equipment and Polyrok. We are excited to work with Mackay Regional Council on creating a circular economy, which benefits the local environment and community.

“The Wonder Recycling Rewards program commences again on March 14, 2022, and we encourage the community to support their local school and start collecting,” Ms Fung said.

REDcycle collection program founder, Liz Kasell, said, “I am very pleased to have worked with Goodman Fielder on this program to educate students on the importance of soft plastic recycling. And I want to congratulate all the students across Australia who participated in 2021”.

The Polyrok will be delivered to council’s Paget warehouse and, while it has been earmarked for a new public infrastructure project later in 2022, a small trial will be undertaken making slabs for oil disposal bays at council’s waste transfer stations.

For more information on Polyrok visit this website.

Information for schools on how to participate in Goodman Fielder’s “Wonder Recycling Rewards” program can be found here.