The road to microplastic-free highways

Members of the HTMA’s Sustainability Advisory Group discuss the impact of the plastic used in highways management and maintenance


When the BBC’s Blue Planet II aired at the end of 2017, it brought home to viewers the devastating impact our use of plastic is having on the environment. Many people watching the programme immediately vowed to cut down on their use of non-recyclable plastics, swearing off takeaway cups and single-use plastic bags in favour of reusable drinking bottles and bags for life.

In many industries, though, such simple switches are just not possible. The highways maintenance sector is one such sector, and the Highways Term Maintenance Association (HTMA) is aware that the issue of plastics needs to be addressed. “It is important that we start looking at the impact highways is having in this area,” says Jason Convey, senior health, safety, environment and quality manager at VolkerHighways and chair of HTMA’s Sustainability Advisory Group. “It is vital that we as a sector look at the way we design our roads and the materials we use in building and repairing our roads. It is an opportunity to invest and innovate ways of reducing the use of plastic to achieve this. It is important that the HTMA lead and facilitate this.”

Last year, HTMA launched a Sustainability Charter aimed at ...

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