How do cartridges become road surfaces?

TonerPave developed by Close the Loop and Downer © Claire Bell

TonerPave developed by Close the Loop and Downer


An exciting development in 2018 has seen waste cartridge toner,  soft plastics from the REDcycle program and stockpiled glass made into TonerPlas™, an additive that is used in asphalt. Every 1km of road (2 lanes) will use approximately:

  • Toner from 12,500 used printer cartridges
  • 530,000 plastic bag and packaging equivalents
  • 168,000 glass bottle equivalents
  • 134 tonnes of reclaimed road re-used, with the inclusion of 20% Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement

The manufacturing process transforms soft plastics back to its original polymer state ensuring a homogenous bituminous binder (think of sugar dissolving in tea) is created that is perpetually recyclable into the future. There are no microplastics released into the environment over the life of the road.

This road surface called Reconophalt has enhanced properties of improved strength and resistance to deformation making the road last longer and allowing it to better handle heavy vehicle traffic.
It is 65% more durable than a normal asphalt. 

Councils Laying TonerPlas™

The first road using this new technology was laid by Hume City Council, VIC,  in May 2018, shortly followed by Sutherland Shire Council in NSW, Onkaparinga Council, SA and Kingsborough Council in TAS.

For enquiries contact


TonerPaveTM is another sustainable asphalt being made from the toner cartridges recycled through the Cartridges 4 Planet Ark program. It was created by Close the Loop® and Downer, a leading provider of engineering and infrastructure management services.

Toner powder is separated in the recycling process, then further refined to make an additive called Modified Toner Polymer (MTP), which helps improve the performance of the asphalt, potentially leading to lower whole-of-life costs. Recycled toner from printer cartridges is well suited to asphalt because toner powder predominantly consists of small particles of very high-grade engineering plastics.

Carbon modelling by ERM and Energetix shows that for every 1 tonne of MTP used, 0.27t CO2 greenhouse gases are saved from entering the atmosphere.

Councils Laying TonerPave™

The following council areas have already laid TonerPave roads and the list is growing!

  • ACT
  • Banyule
  • Boroondara
  • Brisbane City
  • City of Sydney
  • Greater Dandenong
  • Hume City - first council to trial TonerPlas™
  • Kingston
  • Manningham
  • Moreton Bay Regional
  • Mornington Peninsula
  • Nillumbik
  • Noosa Shire
  • Salisbury
  • Stonnington
  • Wodonga
  • Yarra Ranges

Over 1000kms of Australian roads have already been surfaced with TonerPave.

    Further information

    Find more information about TonerPlas™ and TonerPave™.

    For enquiries contact

    Find a Cartridge drop-off location