More than three tonnes of recycled plastic – the equivalent of around 730,000 plastic bags – is being incorporated into a new asphalt mix in order to resurface a 1.5-kilometre section of the world-famous coastal route near Lorne. 

It is the first time the state’s regional road authority has used the PlastiPhalt mix, which serves as a more environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional asphalt, on any of Victoria’s arterial roads. 

RRV Regional Director (South West) Emma Miller-Olsen said the plastic used in the new asphalt mix had been sourced from Geelongbased company GT Recycling, diverting a significant amount of plastic from being sent to landfill, while the asphalt mix is blended locally at contractor Fulton Hogan’s Lara asphalt plant. 

“This project will save an amount of plastic equal to about 300,000 plastic bottles from entering landfill,” Ms Miller-Olsen said. 

“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve the sustainability of our roadbuilding and repair practices, and this represents a significant step forward for us in terms of using recyclable materials, particularly when we’re improving the Great Ocean Road – one of the state’s most famous assets.” 

In order to further reduce the carbon footprint of the trial, the existing road surface in Lorne is also being recycled back into the new surface after being dug up, forming close to 10 percent of the new surface.   

The new asphalt is being laid at a slightly lower temperature as a ‘warm mix’ rather than a ‘hot mix’, which further reduces the carbon emissions of the trial.  

The resurfacing works, which will take four days to complete, will create a safer, more durable road surface along this section of the Great Ocean Road, which caters to 1600 vehicles per day. 

The works are part of a joint $50 million investment to upgrade the Great Ocean Road by the Victorian and Australian governments.