Of the 10,000 startups that competed in the 2016 Virgin Voom competition, a Scottish startup MacRebur emerged the winner and bagged the £1 million. MacRebur came up with an innovative way of turning plastic waste into an alternative to bitumen used in the binding of stones when laying up a road surface.
The startup was founded in January 2016, and of now it has laid up plastic roads on runways at the Carlisle Airport, and roads in Cumbria and Dumfriesshire. The company has patented a product called MR6, a technology they use to turn plastic waste into a bitumen alternative for road construction.
— MacRebur (@MacRebur) March 28, 2017
Their product commercial application has the effect of killing two birds with one stone. It solves the menace of the non-biodegradable plastic wastes polluting the environment. At the same time reducing the cost of road construction and maintenance. A certain case of double win!
The startup won the praise of Virgin boss Richard Branson for their innovative and revolutionary idea. Toby McCartney, the CEO, and co-founder of MacRebur told Branson that their product “finds a use for the millions of tons of waste plastic and it reduces the millions of pounds spent on road maintenance and pothole repair. Our roads are 60% stronger, longer lasting, do not pothole and are cheaper.”
The idea came to McCartney while he was in India, where he saw people dumping plastic wastes into potholes and then melting them down. McCartney and team are currently working on introducing their products across world markets in Africa, South America, Europe, and Australia. Their company is aiming to get at least 0.25% of the global asphalt market.