Australians love going to the beach, but if access is a problem that’s no fun for anyone. Great beaches can be made even greater with the addition of beach ramps that allow access to users of all mobility levels.
In the past, timber would have been the traditional choice to create beach pathways but this has become somewhat outdated as wood and the beach are a bad combination due to erosion from salt water. So what are the alternatives to using timber? Many councils searching for a simple solution have found the answer in a product made from waste plastic that would otherwise have ended up in landfill.
Technology created by Australian company Replas has resulted in an innovative decking product called Enduroplank™. Created from a range of rigid and soft waste plastics it has many unique properties that not only benefit the environment, but also offer cost savings to councils.
Enduroplank™ is durable, yet lightweight which means installation is not only easy, but also cost effective. This type of decking is proving to be the perfect material for coastal use as it can withstand long-term damage caused by sea water as well as offering a safer surface for beachgoers.
Sutherland Shire Council in NSW discovered the benefits of recycled plastic and decided to use it to create a new walkway at Kurnell Beach. Walkways such as this are particularly important because they make navigation easy for wheelchairs, prams, beach buggies and surf lifesaving equipment, opening up the beach to a wider section of the community.
Kurnell Beach now has a boardwalk that blends in with the natural environment and encourages visitors to keep to the path, preventing erosion on the beach. Constructed by Replas Pro installer, Shore Contracting, the material used will not split, rot or crack giving the path a much greater life expectancy than timber. In fact, it is estimated that a recycled plastic construction like this one will last for more than 40 years with little signs of deterioration.
According to Replas the boardwalk is made from the equivalent of 970,000 plastic bags that have been saved from landfill. So perhaps the next time you throw away a plastic bag consider recycling it instead. It just might end up helping improve beach access for everyone.