Recycled plastic noise walls make a debut on the Mordialloc Freeway

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Noise walls made using 75 per cent recycled plastic, collected from houses across Victoria, will be used on the Mordialloc Freeway project.

As part of a project drive to build Australia’s greenest freeway, 32,000 square metres of noise walls required for the project will be made from more than 570 tonnes of plastic waste.

Half of this waste will be the plastic people throw into their kerbside recycling bins. The other half will be made up of soft plastics, such as bread bags, food wrappers and bubble wrap, which are all materials that are notoriously difficult to recycle.

Made by local business PACT Group, based in Carrum Downs not far from the freeway project, the noise walls will use the equivalent of 25,000 households plastic for the year.

This initiative came about through the Recycled First policy. Recycled First requires construction contractors on major projects in Victoria to demonstrate how they will optimise the use of recycled and reused materials on these transport projects.

Following the use of the noise barriers on this project a state government initiative, Ecologic, has now developed new standards and specification for recycled noise walls. This will make the walls easier to replicate on future projects.

Throughout production of the walls PACT Group has been able to retain 70 staff at their site. The team delivered 32 panels each day and took 56 weeks to deliver the 32,000 square metres of panels required on the project.

Being quick and safe to install, at half the weight of steel or concrete panels, the plastic panels not only tick off recycling objectives but also improve installation times and meet traffic noise reduction requirements.

Minister for Roads and Road Safety Ben Carroll said every time motorists travel along the new Mordialloc Freeway, they will be able to see tangible evidence of how we are making greener choices and reducing waste in transport infrastructure construction.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said we only have finite resources and projects like these keep waste out of landfill while giving old material a new life. It also creates crucial jobs for Victorians.

The Mordialloc Freeway is due for completion at the end of 2021.

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