IT’S the plastic fantastic invention that has Blacksmiths beachgoers walking a more sustainable path.
A 60-metre route made with recycled plastic has been laid along dunes to provide access to the beach.
Lake Macquarie City Council said it built the path with ‘‘world-leading recycling technology, which uses reprocessed plastic waste’’.
Council community planning manager John Ferguson said the product was ‘‘intended to provide a longer lifespan than the traditional timber boardwalk’’.
“The new path is comprised of a mix of concrete and recycled plastics, which provides a sturdy and long-lasting asset for the community,’’ Mr Ferguson said.
Asked how much it cost, the council said the ‘‘recycled plastic component of the path cost about $27,000 [supply and install]’’.
Asked whether the materials were cheaper than the product previously used, the council said ‘‘there was no cost comparison’’.
‘‘There has been a national trend to reduce the use of timber in favour of the use of recycled plastic building products,’’ it said. ‘‘There is less ongoing maintenance, they last a lot longer, they won’t splinter, they are non slip, they are more comfortable to walk on and they don’t rot.’’
It said the new path – at the beach-access point at the Maneela Street and Ungala Road intersection – ‘‘costs slightly more’’ than previous products, but ‘‘the investment benefits outweigh the difference’’.
Mr Ferguson said the council would seek to use recycled plastic materials in other beach-access projects.