Hampshire County Council has become the first highway authority in the country to trial plant-based plastic bollards in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, improve safety and save money.
The trial project aims to install plant-based bio polymer bollards, derived from sugar cane, which are lighter, easier for Hampshire Highways operatives to install and cheaper.
The ‘non-crete’ bollards are low carbon because they are not made of concrete and do not have the associated carbon costs in terms of manufacturing.
A key constituent of concrete is cement, with the cement industry being responsible for around 7-8% of global carbon dioxide emissions.
The sugar cane used to produce bollards is regulated and adheres to local and international standards of sustainability.
The new polymer-based bollards are resilient and if struck will not splinter and should not disrupt the foundation base in the pavement.
Commenting, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Highways Operations, Councillor Russell Oppenheimer said:
“This is a great opportunity to effect positive change at a local level and really reflects the county council’s determination to play its part on the critical issue of climate change and carbon reduction.
“Innovations like this will make a significant contribution to reducing our carbon footprint, leading the way in sustainable construction.
“These new bio polymer bollards are made from sugar cane and when sugar cane grows it absorbs CO2.
“This ‘carbon capture’ actually reduces the carbon levels in the atmosphere, providing a negative carbon footprint.
“The county council has set a target for climate resilience, acknowledging the significant impact of climate change on our communities, our infrastructure and the services we deliver.
“Climate resilience is crucial and rising temperatures, increased flooding and more extreme weather events have already been felt in Hampshire.
“In recognition of the importance of building resilience, the county council has declared 2022 the ‘Year of Climate Resilience’.
“This presents an opportunity for the county council to increase awareness of the importance of resilience, promote our unique approach and the actions we are taking to build resilience and to develop some showcase projects in partnership with key stakeholders.
“This trial, if successful, could be such a project.”
Hampshire County Council declared a climate emergency in 2019 and is committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, as well as being prepared for a two degree rise in temperature.