Old Ink Cartridges Form Bike Path in Australian National Park

grouping of old ink cartridges

Migrated Image / Kennymatic / Flickr 

The folks at West MacDonnell National Park in Australia had a brilliant idea for a new bike path connecting Alice Springs and Simpsons Gap. They made it out of junked ink cartridges. The material can last far longer than timber and is a great way to reuse plastics. Plus, it looks great, and all for a fraction of the cost.

The news article reports that the 18km path and a new viewing platform were completed for just $130,000 thanks to the use of recycled materials. Because this material will last so much longer than wood, it will save the park a lot of money in the long run.

Parks and Wildlife Minister Karl Hampton stated, "Every year more than 120,000 people visit the magnificent West MacDonnell National Park, and by investing in our parks we are able to ensure visitors have a unique experience while we protect our environment... In keeping with our government's commitment to sustainable development, the bridge is made from recycled plastic decking or Replas, saving landfill, trees, and ensuring a longer life with less maintenance. Alice Springs has a great bike culture and with the upgrades complete, residents can enjoy a short ride after school or work or longer weekend explorations, while tourists can get to know and enjoy the natural environment around the town."

We've also seen ink cartridges used as "eLumber" from Lexmark, which processes collected ink cartridges into materials perfect for building decks and landscaping. And we can't help but notice that they make lovely lamps:

ink cartridge lamp photo
BoxLightBox / Etsy.com 

Update: If the timber-from-recycled-plastics is made entirely or in part from recycled ink cartridges, we aren't sure - that's what a handful of articles pegged as a material source. Still, the idea of using ink cartridges for the timer isn't new.