First UK supermarket to use recycled plastic to make car park

A Tesco car park has been resurfaced using the equivalent weight of 225,000 plastic carrier bags, saving over 900kgs of plastic from going to landfill. Working in partnership with MacRebur – the plastic road company – Tesco is the first UK supermarket to use recycled plastic to re-surface a store car park.

The move is part of the supermarket looking for new ways to re-use waste plastics, reduce carbon and promote a sustainable closed loop system. Tesco was the first major retailer to remove 5p bags from its stores, resulting in the amount of single use bags sold by Tesco in the last year reducing by more than half.

The Tesco Extra Cuckoo Bridge, Dumfries was resurfaced using waste plastics that would have been destined for landfill or incineration. These are added into an asphalt mix without the need to alter the existing equipment used to make and install the asphalt.

The result is an asphalt performance that has not being compromised and a reduction of 900kg of waste plastics from going landfill or incineration. By using the waste plastic the equivalent weight in fossil fuels has also been saved from extraction. The carbon footprint has also been reduced by over a tonne (1,044kg).

"We're able to take the waste plastics that are otherwise destined for landfill and add them into an asphalt mix to create a stronger, longer lasting, pothole free road surface.”- Toby McCartney, MacRebur Plastics Road Company.

We are working hard to reduce plastics and re-use & recycle wherever possible. Re-using waste plastics in this way is another example of how Tesco are innovating in the war against waste.” Kene Umeasiegbu, Tesco Head of Environment.

Tesco will be testing this new road surface out at the Cuckoo Bridge store through the winter and hopes to work with MacRebur on future projects to help re-use waste plastics.



Dumfries Project:

The area to be resurfaced required approximately 300 tonnes Stone Mastic Asphalt, it contained 900kg of MR8 product. The addition of MR8 did not alter the asphalt manufacturing in terms of mixing time, temperatures or quality control, nor did the asphalt laying contractor require any additional machinery, labour, time or quality control to construct this project.


MacRebur’s® carefully selected plastics, taken from old rubbish, are added into roads to improve strength and durability, whilst reducing the quantity of the oil based bitumen used in a traditional road mix. Imagine that; your old rubbish can now make our roads stronger and longer lasting. MacRebur are based in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland. For every ten tonnes of asphalt made with their additives included, they use the equivalent of 71,432 plastic bottles or 435,592 single use plastic bags, or 32,399 used nappies.  Ten tonnes of asphalt would approximately surface 90 square metres. 


Overall, over 84% of the packaging on all our own brand Tesco products is recyclable depending on if the local authority collect it. As part of our Little Helps plan, we have made the following commitments:

  • Making all packaging fully recyclable or compostable by 2025.
  • Ensuring that all paper and board used will be 100% sustainable by 2025.
  • Halving packaging weight by 2025 compared to 2007 levels.

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