Do the recycled plastics break down into micro beads?

Close the Loop processes the recycled plastics and waste toner into pellets.

They are then melted into the asphalt mix to become intrinsically part of the matrix of the bituminous binder – the ‘glue’ that bonds and waterproofs roads.

Once incorporated into the asphalt mix, it’s impossible for the plastics to separate out, so there are no microbeads that can leach from the wearing of the asphalt.

Downer and Close the Loop have undertaken extensive testing, which confirm that the number of organic particles released during a leaching/wearing test is significantly less than standard asphalt.

In fact, Reconophalt showed a better result than standard asphalt, releasing significantly fewer organic particles than standard asphalt.

This could be explained by the improved strength, binding and adhesion that the TonerPlas additive (the main ingredient in Reconophalt) provides to bitumen.

The largest source of micro plastics from roads is tyre wear.