By Tanya Plibersek MP

14 December 2022

The Road to a Circular Economy

New research from Infrastructure Australia has revealed recycled material could replace about 27 per cent of materials used in road projects across the country. 

That equates to approximately 54 million tonnes of conventional road construction material that could be replaced with recycled content such as crumbed tyres, crushed glass, concrete and reclaimed asphalt.

Advances in technology and updated standards could further increase this figure to around 87 million tonnes of recycled materials in road projects.

This research will inform the work of the recently announced Ministerial Advisory Group on the Circular Economy that has been tasked with guiding Australia’s transition to a circular economy by 2030.

The 2022 Infrastructure Australia annual Market Capacity Program was published today.

This year, the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water funded analysis of the potential to use 10 different recycled materials in road infrastructure. 

Quotes attributable to Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Tanya Plibersek:

“These findings are really exciting for our environment and our circular economy.

“It clearly shows the opportunity to use more recycled products when we build roads.

“This will keep products like tyres, glass, concrete and asphalt out of landfill, and put them back to good use.

“The transition to a circular economy will need new ways of thinking and new ways of working. This is one example of how it could be done.”