A bridge to the future

3 Sep 2019 02:53
Published by: Daniel Almond


WALKERS using two of the borough’s footbridges will be treading on recycled plastic bottles as Cheshire East takes a further step on its climate change strategy.

With ‘oceans’ of plastic becoming a world-wide issue, the council has commissioned an eco-friendly way of putting old plastic bottles to a useful purpose.

The council’s highways bridges and structures team is about to embark on a second project – using glass reinforced plastic (GRP) – to repair a footbridge over the Silk Road in Macclesfield.

This follows the success of its first scheme in Wistaston, where the material was used to resurface a footbridge across Wistaston Brook.

Each square metre of new replacement decking contains a foam infill made from more than 4,500 plastic bottles.

The product is produced by specialist surfacing and structures manufacturer Polydeck, using a fully-recyclable composite ‘green’ foam material produced by their supplier in Greater Manchester.

The process and end product uses hundreds of thousands of single-use plastic bottles, which are transformed into an inner-core foam, used in a wide range of industrial applications.

Brian Roberts, cabinet member for highways and waste, said: “The council is fully committed to using recycled materials wherever we can provide a sustainable and cost-effective solution.

“The work that has been carried out on the footbridge in Wistaston has completely transformed its appearance, as the old timber decking was in a poor state of repair and in need of restoration.

“The council will be looking at other opportunities to apply recycled materials and the latest project to use this material will be the footbridge across the Silk Road, in Macclesfield, which is about to undergo extensive maintenance work.”

Chris Spooner, managing director of Polydeck, said: “This is a sustainable and enterprising application for recycled single-use plastic bottles. We are pleased to be part of the process for addressing one of the biggest problems facing the planet today.”


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