Brownlee Brothers Unveil Sustainably-Built Road Using Waste Plastic

Volvo Car UK has partnered with MacRebur and Leeds City Council to resurface popular cycling route in Leeds

Leeds, UK: Volvo Car UK, Olympic and World Champion triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee and MacRebur have together revealed a sustainable cycling route built using recycled waste material in Leeds, ahead of the Leeds World Triathlon Series, 5-6 June.

Volvo Car UK and MacRebur – ‘The Plastic Road Company’ – as well as Leeds City Council, have resurfaced a stretch of Harrogate Road – one of the city’s most popular cycling routes – to increase the safety for cyclists travelling to and from the city centre to the Yorkshire Dales. The project came to fruition following the 2019 Volvo Visionaries initiative, run in conjunction with the Sunday Times.

The ‘Recycled Road’ has been created with a significantly lower environmental impact by filling in potholes along the road with 850kg of recycled plastic waste, the equivalent of 170,000 supermarket carrier bags.

Furthermore, the road surface also comprises of 213 tonnes of aggregate formed from slag steel, the estimated weight of around 710* end-of-life cars. The Recycled Road has saved a total of 3,200kg of CO2e through the manufacturing process and the reduction of 850kg of bitumen fossil fuels from being extracted.

MacRebur’s waste plastic product benefits from longevity over conventional road surfacing methods because the plastic allows the road to be more flexible and adaptable to changing weather conditions and temperatures, meaning less cracking of the surface, and reducing the chance of potholes reappearing once applied.

Potholes are among the UK’s biggest causes of accidents and injury across the UK for both cyclists and motorists. In the past five years, 250 cyclists have been killed or seriously injured due to poor road conditions[1]. In 2020, 1.7m potholes were filled throughout the UK[2], with a further 4,700 reported between January and March[3] in 2021.

The popularity of cycling in the UK has soared in the past year, with bike sales increasing by 60%[4] and participation increasing by 108% year-on-year among 18-29-year-old females[5]. The UK Government’s £2 billion investment pledge to promote sustainable active transport solutions – such as cycling – to help improve road safety[6] is encouraging more people to get on their bikes.

The Harrogate Road project has been completed in a region of Yorkshire – frequently used by the Brownlee brothers to train – ahead of this year’s World Triathlon Series event in Leeds, which takes place on 5-6 June, 2021.

Recycled Roads follows the UK launch of the Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin pure electric car, the first of five all-electric cars to be launched over the next five years. Volvo is committed to leading the fast-growing premium electric car market and plans to become a fully electric car company by 2030.


[1] Road CC
[2] BBC News
[3] Telegraph
[4] Bicycle Association
[5] Cyclist
[6] Gov UK


B-Roll content and online video packages can be downloaded from the links below: 


GVs Harrogate Road Leeds:

GVs Volvo XC40:

GVs Jonny and Alistair Brownlee Cycling on Recycled Road:

IV Jonny Brownlee, Professional Triathlete:

IV Alistair Brownlee, Professional Triathlete:

IV Chris Sims, Marketing Manager, Volvo Car UK

IV Gordon Reid, Chief Operating Officer and Co-founder at MacRebur:

IV Ian Tonkin, Volvo Car UK:

IV Councillor Helen Hayden, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, Leeds City Council:


Web Film: 

Volvo Recycled Road Web Film:


For any further information, please contact Karun or Andriana at Sassy:       | +44 (0) 7725 940 179 |  | +44 (0) 7761 255 487 | 


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