16 Jan 2020

How sustainable driveways are transforming the UK

In the last five years, an increasing number of homeowners have chosen to stick rather than twist when it comes to moving up the housing ladder. Here, Mark Krull from Logic4training takes a look at the trend for renovation and how homeowners can incorporate energy-efficient features and eco-technology into projects.

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It’s easy to find yourself thinking “2,920,000,000 pieces of plastic, how can I possibly make a difference?” After all, you’re just one consumer among millions. Creating significant change can feel impossible, meaning we often resign ourselves to recycling and not much else. However, affordable and unexpected ways by which we can live even more sustainably are actually much closer to home; on our driveways in fact. Instead of frantically worrying about where your waste is going, or feeling that you’re not doing enough, you can embrace sustainable alternatives which have been designed to better support the environment. For example, sustainable driveways are using our plastic waste to create an improved alternative on your doorstep. Now, homeowners, self-builders, renovators and construction professionals can use their own outdoor space to play a part in combating the plastic waste problem.

Oltco is a leading resin driveway provider, transforming outdoor spaces by cleverly incorporating waste plastic that’s already in circulation. Cutting back on our single-use plastic is great, but if you’re making home improvements, or building a property entirely from scratch, then this allows you to reuse a significant amount of additional plastic.

To help you understand how your driveway can positively impact the environment, Tom Stringer, Oltco’s Co-Director, discusses the revolutionary product that is now on the market. You’ll soon realise how plastic could make for a great driveway, path, patio or balcony.

“Plastic is harming our planet; there’s no doubt about it. Since the 1950s, according to data obtained by UCLA (University of California), we have produced an estimated 8.3 billion metric tonnes of the stuff. Meanwhile, 79% of the plastic produced over the past 70 years has been thrown away, either being dumped into landfill sites or, more worryingly, our general environment. Most of us do all that we can to create a healthier planet for future generations, using our recycling bins, cutting back on excess packaging where we can and driving less. Yet, despite these great intentions, our efforts to recycle aren’t improving pollution rates very quickly. This is probably because only 9% of the world’s plastic is recycled. If we really want to make a significant change, more needs to be done.

“It’s this realisation which inspired us to create sustainable driveways. As a business, we create high-quality, durable resin driveways for homes across the country, yet we knew that more could be done from an environmental perspective. We’re based in Cornwall, surrounded by beautiful beaches, a close-knit community and landscapes which need to be protected; we soon realised that we could extend our services, offering a sustainable alternative for self-builders across the UK.

“We subsequently created ‘Recycle Bound’, a resin-bound solution made using waste plastic already in circulation. We gather materials from plastic recycling points, including plastic drink bottles, plastic food packaging and straws to create driveways which don’t negatively affect the environment.

"Whilst you might recycle at home, this needn’t be where your efforts stop. For example, you might consciously choose to ditch plastic straws, however, by investing in a sustainable driveway, you could save 3000 plastic straws per square metre. Your new driveway (assuming it’s a standard 50m2 drive) could, therefore, reuse 150,000 plastic straws. Thanks to Recycle Bound, your home improvements could not only help your house to better fulfil your personal needs, but the outdoor space that you create could help to combat the issue of waste plastic.

"We use plastic waste in an incredibly useful, sustainable way, right under your feet. Amazingly, British home renovations can help to protect our oceans, one house at a time.

"There are so many reasons to enhance your own sustainability, using your home to do so. Yes, plastic waste is bad for the environment, but why? Plastic straws are a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions, whilst they take over 200 years to decompose. This is no exaggeration; if the Queen were to have used a plastic straw at her coronation, it would still be intact today. Cutting back on plastic is, therefore, the overall goal, of course, but it’s also important to recycle the harmful materials which have already been created. Recycling’s great, but sustainable ‘Recycle Bound’ driveways offer an additional method for improving your sustainability. Every little helps.

“Overall, sustainable driveways cut back on a variety of polluting products and emissions. If you’re hoping to make sustainable changes to your home, then why not invest in a driveway that’ll benefit you for decades to come? They’re quickly becoming the perfect solution for home-builders, renovators and forward-thinkers who want their home to be more sustainable, from the outside in. Gone are the days when your recycling bins were the ‘be all and end all’, the very foundations of your home can now be created with the planet in mind.”

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