The Ministry for Infrastructure and Planning has announced, following the “Gib School Strike 4 Climate Change” and “Parents for Future” demonstrations earlier this year, and extensive, international coverage of the serious and very worrying effect of plastics on our environment, especially our oceans, that it will be embarking on a project that will enable the use of plastic bottles in certain building materials initially for use on the public highway.

These include, but are not limited to paving slabs or blocks, stamped concrete and kerb stones.

Initially two areas at Camp Bay car park, where the existing bicycle parking adjacent to the Europa Pool is situated, will receive a new concrete slab with a stamped block-paving concrete design finish as a trial. This full slab will contain crosscut plastic from approximately 1,700 bottles.

Apart from concrete slabs, pre-casted conventional paving blocks can also be manufactured using this method of crosscutting plastics. There are 28 large plastic bottles within each individual block as per the photograph attached. The quantity of bottles used in each specific block or slab depends upon and varies depending on its specific application, the compressive strength and construction properties required.

This is an excellent way to recycle plastic bottles and re-use the material, without causing unnecessary pressure on our already strained environment.

The Ministry for Infrastructure and Planning has been working closely with the creator of this new technology for the production of building materials with plastic. Manufacturing costs of these paving slabs will be a fraction of the cost of exporting plastics for disposal where their future remains uncertain. In this manner, the outcome of our local plastic will be known and truly palpable and beneficial for our environment.

The Minister for Infrastructure and Planning. Paul Balban said:

This novel method of using plastic does not mean that we should not be concerned about the mal- use of plastic, on the contrary, we should always try to minimise our dependency on this material, but in the interim, there is no better way of dealing with this huge resource destined to rubble heaps and landfills than by making use of it. I am hugely proud that the Ministry will be able, through this initiative to contribute positively to the environment in this manner.

The plastic bottles shown are those typically used in the block pictured.