Published On 03 August 2018 at 11:30 AM

The first New South Wales (NSW) road built with soft plastics and glass at Engadine in the Sutherland Shire will see plastic from approximately 176,000 plastic bags and packaging and 55,000 glass bottle equivalents diverted from landfill.

Sutherland Shire Council and Downer have partnered with resource recovery and recycling companies Close the Loop, RED Group and Plastic Police to set this new benchmark in sustainability in the State.

Along with soft plastics and glass, toner from approximately 4,000 used printer cartridges and more than 60 tonnes of recycled asphalt were also repurposed to create 220 tonnes of asphalt used to construct the road along Old Princes Highway between Cooper Street and Engadine Road in Sutherland Shire.

NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said this achievement demonstrates how committed organisations can find innovative solutions to waste reduction.

“The NSW Government has a comprehensive funding program designed to find more ways to make sure waste is taken out of landfill and put to good use,” said Ms Upton.

“In particular, the Product Improvement Co-investment program and the Circulate program together provide $10 million in funding to help find creative ways to reduce the amount of waste and find better uses than simply throwing it away.”

 Sutherland Shire Mayor, Councillor Carmelo Pesce, says Council is committed to showing leadership in sustainability and the use of recycled products.

“Sutherland Shire Council collects over 25 thousand tonnes of recycling in the yellow top bins every year,” Councillor Pesce said. 

“Using recycled plastic and glass in asphalt to create new road surfaces is just one of the innovative ways Council can reduce its environmental footprint through the use of recyclable material.”

Downer General Manager Pavements, Stuart Billing, said the milestone event demonstrated the importance of partnerships with other thought leaders to create economic, social and environmental value for products that would more than likely end up in landfill, stockpiled, or as a pollutant in our natural environments.

“Through our partnerships and desire to make a difference, we’ve shown how to recycle and repurpose waste materials into new streams of use. It’s all about pulling products, not pushing waste.”

“Further to the direct sustainability benefits, this cost competitive road product, called Plastiphalt, has a 65 per cent improvement in fatigue life and a superior resistance to deformation making the road last longer, and allowing it to better handle heavy vehicle traffic,” Mr Billing added. 

Downer partnered closely with Close the Loop to innovatively tailor waste products such as soft plastics to suit a road construction application.

“Our close partnership with Downer, along with our collaborative partnerships with RedCycle and Plastic Police has allowed us to design, develop and manufacture sustainable products using problematic waste streams. We are very pleased to see soft plastics used for the first time in a NSW road,” said Nerida Mortlock, General Manager of Close the Loop Australia.

This Sutherland Shire Council project is co-funded through the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.

For further information please contact:

Noel Lean, Manager Corporate Affairs, Downer                                                               +61 447 228 967

Jane Dyson, Sutherland Shire Council                                                                               +61 447 763 650

Peter Tamblyn, Sales & Marketing Manager, Close the Loop, Australia                          +61 418 346 160


About Downer

Downer is the leading provider of integrated services in Australia and New Zealand and customers are at the heart of everything it does. It exists to create and sustain the modern environment and its promise is to work closely with its customers to help them succeed, using world-leading insights and solutions to design, build and sustain assets, infrastructure and facilities. Downer employs approximately 56,000 people across more than 300 sites, primarily in Australia and New Zealand, but also in the Asia-Pacific region, South America and Southern Africa. It also owns 88 per cent of Spotless Group Holdings Limited. For more information visit


About Sutherland Shire Council

Sutherland Shire is located on the east coast of Australia, in New South Wales, around 25 kilometres south of Sydney. It has a population of 226,000 people and covers approximately 370 square kilometres. It is home to all or part of four national parks including Australia’s oldest, the Royal National Park and is framed by ocean, beaches, waterways, bushland, wetlands, bays and sandstone tablelands. Sutherland Shire is an urban area that is predominantly residential, however it is home to a small but significant commercial and industrial presence, including Australia’s only nuclear reactor, a desalination plant, a regional waste facility and a major regional shopping centre. Sutherland Shire Council believes in creating a thriving community of active lives connected to nature and seeks to be recognised as being collaborative and evolving.


About Close the Loop

Close the Loop (CtL) is an Australian owned resource recovery and sustainability solutions provider with locations in Australia, Europe and the US. CtL has established a global reputation for providing creative end of life product management services. Specialising in post-consumer recycling (PCR), CtL provides its services to leading global manufacturers of consumer and business to business products. In partnership with 15 major printer manufacturers CtL has established a network of over 35,000 collection points around Australia. For more, visit or 


About NSW Environment Protection Authority

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is the primary environmental regulator for New South Wales. We partner with business, government and the community to reduce pollution and waste, protect human health, and prevent degradation of the environment.

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