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Roads firm in running for top eco prize

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By Fiona Reid
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Roads firm in running for top eco prize

A LOCKERBIE company has been nominated for the world’s most prestigious environmental award, backed by Sir David Attenborough and HRH The Prince of Wales.

Plastic road pioneers MacRebur have been put forward for this year’s Earthshot Prize, which celebrates and rewards the most innovative solutions to combating the Earth’s environmental crisis.

They are contesting the ‘Build A Waste Free World’ category, which spotlights ideas that are eliminating single-use products and packaging.

And their nomination came from the University of East Anglia (UEA) after Professor Brian Reid, associate pro-vice chancellor for research, was impressed by their products which divert waste plastics from landfill, turning them into an asphalt additive instead, which reduces the amount of oil-based bitumen needed in a road surface.

Prof Reid said: “MacRebur has engaged an intractable challenge of putting waste plastic to further use.

“By using plastic waste materials as a component of road surface composites not only is the plastic reused, but less hydrocarbon-based bitumen material is needed. Thus, carbon and waste issues are addressed in concert, and a superior more durable road surface created. A creative solution worthy of nomination for the Earthshot Prize.”

Toby McCartney, who co-founded MacRebur in 2016 with friends Gordon Reid and Nick Burnett, is thrilled at the nomination.

He said: “When we launched seven years ago, we knew our solution had the potential to change the world. Our method saves 5kg of waste plastic from landfill or incineration for every tonne of asphalt laid, which displays a real-world use for surplus or discarded material that would otherwise add to the ever-increasing strain on our planet.

“The Earthshot Prize is one of the most prestigious awards there is, so to be nominated is an immense honour and privilege. Being nominated is yet another validation of the work we have put in to improve the future of the planet.

“We can’t wait to find out if we have been successful!”

There will be 15 finalists in the 2023 Earthshot Prize, from which five overall winners will be selected and revealed at an awards ceremony later this year, attended by the Prince.

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