Earthshot prize: Dumfries and Galloway business nominated for prestigious environmental award

  • Watch as Natasha Potts visits MacRebur in Dumfries and Galloway following their Earthshot nomination

A company from Dumfries and Galloway has been nominated for one of the world's most prestigious environmental awards.

MacRebur from Lockerbie has been nominated for the Earthshot prize for its commitment to use plastic waste to help create more environmentally friendly road surfaces.

The Earthshot prize is backed by Sir David Attenborough and Prince William.

MacRebur's Toby McCartney said the idea behind their innovative business started at his daughter's school.

He said: "Well, it all started really at my little girl's school assembly. And I remember the teacher gathering the children around. She was just six at the time, and they asked all the kids what lives in our oceans.

"And I remember one little girl saying fish and one little boy saying whales and dolphins. And my little girl, she said, plastics. And I had one of those dad moments.

"So I wanted to do something with the waste plastics that we have in our household. We had 844 test results that failed then the 845th test result. That's where we got the success."

Billions of tons of waste plastic that can't be recycled are produced every year. MacRebur uses it to replace part of the oil used in asphalt, which is then laid down on roads.

Speaking about the process, Mr McCartney said: "It's made up of plastic that comes that's destined for landfill or for incineration. And it's granulated together, mixed together with with our activator and then produces the product from there.

"So this is going to be bagged up and then it will go to the asphalt manufacturers. We have sites in San Diego. We have sites in Australia, New Zealand over in Turkey and Moldova and in Spain in Barcelona. No roads yet in Dumfries and Galloway, but we're working on it."

With the Earthshot prize each winner receives £1 million to continue their environmental work.

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