Pioneering plastic road firm MacRebur seeks £590k

MacRebur has developed a bitumen replacement which uses a special blend of waste plastics. Picture: Neil Hanna

MacRebur has developed a bitumen replacement which uses a special blend of waste plastics. Picture: Neil Hanna

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A firm which is pioneering a revolutionary plastic road surfacing product has launched a £590,000 crowdfunding drive to help finance a global rollout of its innovation.

MacRebur has developed the bitumen replacement which they claim results in roads that are stronger and longer lasting than those built or repaired with standard asphalt mixes.

Its MR6 product – which Sir Richard Branson has praised – also provides an environmentally friendly use for waste plastics rather than sending them to landfill.

The product has already been used on roads in Cumbria and Dumfriesshire, as well as a runway at Carlisle Airport. Talks are ongoing with councils and contractors in the UK and Australia. Interest has also been expressed from South America, Africa and Europe.

The firm’s founders are now looking to raise cash on the Seedrs crowdfunding platform, which is supported by tennis ace Sir Andy Murray, to help take their patented idea worldwide.

MacRebur, based in Waterbeck, Dumfriesshire, was set up early last year by three friends – entrepreneur Toby McCartney, civil engineer Gordon Reid and waste and recycling expert Nick Burnett. The idea was born following a trip to India where McCartney saw raw waste plastic being dumped in potholes and melted down. Their more sophisticated method involves using a special blend of plastics in pellet form.

McCartney said: “With 40 million kilometres of roads around the world, MR6 could make a massive economic and environmental difference. Our concept has already generated a massive buzz and really caught people’s imaginations. They can now get on board with us through Seedrs and be part of what promises to be an exciting future.”

The business was launched last year and after six months it won the 2016 Virgin Voom award for best UK start-up. Announcing it as a winner at the final in London last year, Branson said he loved the concept and the idea of “driving on roads made out of plastic and old rubbish”.

Existing backers of the firm include Richard Price, director of London-based early stage investor Capital For Business. He said: “As a very frequent investor in early stage companies it is very rare to find a business that helps solve a huge environmental issue, namely waste plastic, and has an extremely cost-effective product.

“Add to this the infectious enthusiasm of the founders and we have the potential for a hugely successful business.”

Murray, who joined the advisory board of Seedrs in 2015, has since invested in a number of companies which have raised money on the platform.

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