Recyled plastic fibres have been transformed into a section of the Skeleton Creek Trail at Seabrook.
Hobsons Bay council is the first in Victoria to trial a product called Emesh produced by Fibercon, which upcycles plastic to make reinforced concrete.
An 80-metre section of trail was made with concrete reinforced by 120 kilograms of recycled plastic fibres instead of steel reinforcement mesh.
Mayor Angela Altair said the product cost the same as steel but delivered environmental benefits.
“Installing the Emesh product on the path has saved more than 108 kilograms of waste from going to landfill and has avoided the use of 807kilograms of steel,” she said.
“The recycled plastic alternative has also reduced carbon emissions by 2500kilograms as less energy is consumed during its production compared to the production of steel.”
She said the product was ideal for salty coastal environments as it doesn’t corrode.
Ward councillor Colleen Gates said it could be rolled out on more than 700kilometres of footpath.
“With the focus on the war on waste, it’s been a really good time to get projects like this off the ground and hopefully we can do a lot more of them,” she said.
“If this section looks like it’s going to stand up to wear and tear, then we could be putting this out across the city and not just for shared trails. I’d like to see us doing it for footpaths.”
Hume council recently used plastic bags, recycled printer cartridges and glass bottles for a stretch of Rayfield Avenue at Craigieburn in an Australian-first trial.