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MacRebur could have the pothole solution.

Posted on August 15, 2017

Potholes. You hate them, your car hates them and even though you wouldn’t think it, your council absolutely hate them too. Not only can they cost the average motorist thousands of pounds a year in repairs, but your local council’s budget is also getting increasingly strained by the demands in filling them. As roads are aging more and more, local authorities are increasingly falling further behind in repairs, with an estimated 14 year backlog and a £12billion price tag, a solution really has to be found.

There have been a number of proposed ideas to tackle the pothole problem, including self-healing roads that involve magnetic induction of steel wool fibers, and infrared healing by heating asphalt cracks. However, these solutions are only still in the testing phases, and the logistics of replacing current asphalt, and finding practical methods to install the technology is quite a while down the line.


A small start-up from Dumfriesshire, however, might well have the answer. What UK, and global, roads need, is to be made out of a material that is not only hard wearing, but cheap and easily and quickly repaired, which luckily has all of its boxes ticked by MacRebur’s ‘MR6’ asphalt mix.

Inspired by his charity work as a ‘picker’ in southern India, CEO Toby saw the practice of using waste plastics as a makeshift pothole filler, and re-examined the approach that the big asphalt companies take to make their polymer-bitumen roads.

These sorts of roads aren’t exactly new, we’ve been using them for a long time in the UK and are exceptionally strong and smooth riding. However, in their current form they are incredibly expensive, due to the polymer compounds being supplied raw by oil companies. MacRebur’s MR6 is essentially a stronger, harder wearing polymer compound that uses recycled plastics that can be added directly to the asphalt mix, rather than manufactured ones which drives the cost down massively. As well as this, MR6 also allows for a more efficient use of the UK's recycled plastic waste, and therefore is much more


Overall, MacRebur’s recycled polymer-modified bitumen costs around £10 less per tonne of asphalt than the typical one, and while this may not sound a lot, Cumbria Council - who have opted into the use of MacRebur’s MR6 formula - will stand to save around £2.5million a year, using 250,000 tonnes of asphalt a year to lay and repair roads.


With all of this, could the solution to the UK’s pothole problems simply be...plastic?