Using waste plastics to replace bitumen in asphalt, resulting in more durable, longer-lasting roads.
|Location||Lockerbie, United Kingdom|
|Sectors||Automotive & Transport Non-Digital B2B|
|Incorporation date||18 Apr 2016|
MacRebur’s® carefully selected plastics, derived from old rubbish, are added into roads to improve strength and durability, whilst reducing the quantity of the oil based bitumen used in a traditional road mix.
Imagine that; your old rubbish can now make our roads stronger and longer lasting…
MacRebur’s® products are engineered from waste plastics destined for landfill or incineration. MacRebur® use these waste plastics to replace part of the bitumen in an asphalt mix, resulting in an environmentally friendly, more durable, longer lasting road. At the end of the lifecycle of the roads, the waste plastics used can be fully recycled back into new roads.
We are seeing the negative effects of a plastic epidemic throughout the world. But as MacRebur’s® products are all made from 100% recycled plastic materials, they help reduce unwanted, discarded plastics from landfill and from the oceans.
The idea was born when our CEO, Toby, was working in Southern India helping people who work on landfill sites as 'pickers'. Their job is to gather potentially reusable items and sell them on to be turned from rubbish into something useful again.
Some of the waste plastics retrieved by the pickers were put into potholes, diesel poured all over them, and the rubbish set alight until the plastics melted into the craters to form a makeshift plastic pothole filler.
Toby got together with two friends, Nick and Gordon, and formed MacRebur. We came up with our innovative idea to take a mix of waste plastics, pelletise them and add them into the making of an enhanced asphalt road.
After 18 months of testing and trials in UK, we had our first product ‘MR6’: It is within British and European standards and is a patent pending, high performance, asphalt binder additive that enhances the roads we drive on today. MacRebur, the award-winning company, now have their waste plastic products in roads around the world.
Substantial accomplishments to date
+ MacRebur® roads can now be driven on around the UK in places including Newcastle, Dumfries and Galloway, Durham, Enfield, Penrith and all over Cumbria.
+ In terms of the national asphalt companies, we have now supplied Tarmac, Cemex and Aggregate industries as well as with Tynedale Roadstone (North East), Jobling Purser (Carlisle and Newcastle), Tillicoutry Quarries (Mid-belt Scotland) and Eurovia (North London).
+ We have trial roads made and laid in Bahrain, Australia, New Zealand, and Turkey and are working with asphalt manufacturers to test and approve our products in these areas.
+ In Australia we are working with Dr. Greg White, a leading paving expert in Australia, from the University of Sunshine Coast who has written a technical paper on our products. Dr. White is working with Brisbane City Council and has laid plastic roads in Brisbane for testing against the Australian roads standards.
+ In Canada we are working with a potential Distributor in Calgary and will have our first trial roads made and laid in September.
+ In USA we are working with distributors of our products and will have our first trial roads made and laid in September.
+ In Saudi Arabia we are working to produce new products and have planned trials in 2018.
We have developed a ‘three phase business model’ and have found this to be successful in The UK. We are replicating this model around the world.
Phase 1: We conduct laboratory testing with bitumen sourced from an asphalt manufacturer in the area/country. Our MR products are tested against a control asphalt to meet the standards dictated by the roads authority in the area/country.
Phase 2: Our lab results are presented to the local authority, roads departments and asphalt manufacturer/s in the area/country. We seek permission to run live trials. Roads are made and laid. Cores (samples) are taken from this road/s and undergo further testing to prove each MacRebur product Vs a standard asphalt mix.
Phase 3: After permission is granted by the roads authority, we are able to sell our products into the asphalt manufacturing companies. We employ distributors of our products and begin our marketing, sales and development processes.
Use of proceeds
We are ready to scale up and take full advantage of the many opportunities available to us and wish to purchase further much-needed infrastructure to manufacture our products locally in the various counties and countries we have laid our roads. It's important that we use local waste for local roads and need to purchase mobile recycling plants to process local waste for local roads.
We wish to purchase three mobile 'bitumen plants' that will enable us to pre-mix our products into bitumen to be sent via containers all over the world.
We require funds to further protect our intellectual property in the various countries we have expanded into.
We desperately need to employ more members of staff, including sales and technical engineers, to help us take advantage of the many opportunities available to us.
We need to act fast and be the first to market in as many locations as we can manage in order to scale and grow across the world over the next two to three years.
Our target customers are the world-wide bitumen companies and asphalt manufacturing companies, of which there are currently around 10,000 companies engaged in the production and laying of asphalt within the European region alone.
The UK market is dominated by the four main asphalt manufacturers: Tarmac (28%), Cemex (13%), Hanson (15%) & Lafarge Holcim (26%). A number of independent manufacturers make up the remaining 18%.
Worldwide, the asphalt market produces 1.6 trillion tons of asphalt. Our target is to have waste plastics included within every ton of asphalt manufactured.
We now have roads down across the globe, including Australia, Bahrain, New Zealand and Turkey, and are working with asphalt manufacturers, universities and local authorities in the UK and overseas.
We stimulate the growth through local authority and at government level, whilst selling our products into the asphalt manufacturers across the world.
Characteristics of target market
The total UK market for highways maintenance is valued at more than £10bn per year. Production of asphalt in the UK amounted to 21.9 million tonnes in 2015, having grown by 6% from the previous year following an increase in the amount of funding available for road maintenance. The market is forecast to grow during the coming years, rising to 24.3 million tonnes this year, and 25 million tonnes by the end of the decade.
Looking ahead, the Department for Transport’s capital budget is forecast to increase in value terms by almost 35% during the period leading up to 2019/2020, reaching £16.83bn.
Worldwide demand for bitumen is projected to expand 2.8 percent per annum to 122.5 million metric tons (742.5 million barrels) in 2019. The Asia/Pacific region and USA is expected to see the most rapid growth in demand during this time and MacRebur have already begun establishing our relationships in these areas to be part of this growth in demand.
Much of our publicity comes from the UK and is spread worldwide. The BBC have created video documentaries - BBC Worldwide, BBC One Show, BBC Inside Out, BBC Country File, as have ITV, CNN and various media outlets including JC Decaux, Real Business magazine, Auto Trader, various environmental and asphalt magazines and newspapers like The Telegraph, Times, Sunday Times, The Scottish Sun, The Daily Record and The Mail. We’ve even been featured in The Jamaica Observer, need we say more. We have also been featured on multiple national and local radio stations.
Our marketing strategy starts online, using social media sites to publicise that we are using ‘local waste for local roads’. We appeal to the environmentalists first, and then target local groups affected by potholes – cycling groups, motorbike enthusiasts etc.
We have produced a press and media pack which is then sent to local newspapers, TV and radio stations.
We have patents pending in the UK, Europe, Australia and NZ, amongst others, and intend to expand this globally. We are not aware of any other company in the world using our secret mix of waste plastics to replace bitumen in asphalt.
There are asphalt additives on the market that do strengthen roads. However, they are very costly compared to traditional asphalt. Furthermore, we have found that these additives can only be ordered in bulk and go off within a short period of time. Asphalt manufacturers only have a certain number of their manufacturing plants that have the infrastructure available to use most of these additives.
By comparison, our products come in pellet, flake or a sand form, they have no 'use by date', can be ordered in any quantity, can be used by every asphalt plant in the world without any plant modifications, are environmentally friendly, replace some of the fossil fuel bitumen in the asphalt mix and are more cost-effective than other additives.