Thermoplastic material used in construction of road bridge will be sold by Vetech next year

The first recycled thermoplastic road bridge in Europe has been built in Scotland.

The 90ft bridge, which is suitable for heavy goods vehicles, was built by manufacturer Vetech in conjection with bridge designer Cass Hayward Cardiff University’s School of Engineering, Rutgers University’s Advanced Polymer Centre and Axion International.

It spans the river Tweed at Easter Dawyck in Peeblesshire and uses 50 tonnes of recycled plastic.

The bridge was fabricated off-site before being assembled by civil engineering and agricultural contractor Glendinning Groundworks and the Royal Engineers.

William Mainwaring, chief executive of Vertech, said: “We shouldn’t be sending so much of the UK’s waste plastic to landfill nor should we be shipping it to China. With this unique technology we can now recycle it ourselves to produce increasingly sought after high quality and sustainable construction materials for the European market.”

The company now plans to start manufacturing sheets of the thermoplastic material for use in the European market as a replacement for plywood, MDF and laminates from next year.