Cleantech Coast to Coast:
Last20 Pavement

July 27, 2023

Join us at Foresight for a virtual road trip across Canada in our annual series Cleantech Coast to Coast. From the nation’s largest urban centres, to remote pockets of innovation, we’ll celebrate Canada’s inspiring innovators at every stop. 

Buckle up, and come along with us as we visit some of the change-makers and cleantech leaders who are deploying impactful climate solutions, and moving the needle toward net zero. Our next stop: Vaughan, Ontario.

Plastic waste and what to do with it is becoming an enormous problem. From a 1.6 million square kilometre island of waste in the Pacific ocean, to microplastics becoming a ubiquitous pollutant in our air and water, plastic waste is everywhere. Solutions that can effectively reduce the amount of plastic waste being sent to landfills are desperately needed.

Last20 Pavement has developed a novel solution to put plastic waste to good use. Their technology is a cost-effective, environmentally-driven, high-performance solution for asphalt applications that upcycles low density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic into pavement.

Last20 Pavement Co-founders, Lucas and Lauren Barnes
Last20 Pavement Co-founders, Lucas and Lauren Barnes

A large contributor to the world’s plastic problem is India, which is where Last20 CEO and co-founder Lucas Barnes got his inspiration for the company. Upcycling plastic into pavement was already underway in India, and Barnes noted that similar opportunities were not being explored in Canada, and much of the Western world. As he learned more about the potential impact of upcycling massive amounts of plastic into a high-quality pavement product at a low cost, the benefits of the opportunity became obvious – what Barnes describes as “a triple bottom line opportunity.” 

At a high level, the global plastic problem is the most obvious problem in need of solving. However, there is a growing need for pavement infrastructure across the globe. Last20’s approach provides pavement companies with a solution for rising construction costs, a high-performance product, and a reduction in environmental impact.

“There are so many climate-action-related problems. I'm 26 and my co-founder, and sister, is 24. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Solutions for the problems our planet faces require motivated minds, and an ability to take action. We are motivated, capable, and willing. It's not for everyone, but for me personally, it's something I want to pursue.”

Lucas Barnes CEO and Co-founder, Last20 Pavement

The Last20 team is currently working on a major pilot project in Westchester, New York, which will wrap up in fall, 2023. They are also working on fundraising with the intention of using the funds to conduct testing for their technology roadmap. Moving forward they will be completing a full-scale pilot project with a commercial client in 2024. 

Last20 Pavement is a graduate of Foresight’s Accelerate from Anywhere program. Through mentorship, education, industry and investor connections, and networking events, our acceleration programs help Canadian cleantech ventures get to market and scale faster.

Ready to accelerate your venture? Apply to Accelerate from Anywhere, or contact us to learn more.

Accelerate from Anywhere is made possible with the generous support of the RBC Foundation, Peter Gilgan Foundation, and Bullfrog Power.