Road to the future: Darlington Borough Council trialling sustainable asphalt solutions with NappiCycle pellets

Rainton Construction has partnered with Darlington Borough Council to test a ground-breaking surfacing solution. The trial at Snipe Lane incorporated pellets made from plastic nappy fibres into the asphalt which was used to surface the road.

Diapers are a major source of waste plastic and can take hundreds of years to break down. By recycling them into pellets which are then used in asphalt, we can reduce waste, help the environment and create a more sustainable future.

NappiCycle, the Welsh firm that supplied the pellets, has designed and developed the system with our manufacturing operation, Tynedale Roadstone, and is one of only two diaper recycling organisations worldwide. Dirty disposable diapers are washed and broken down, the remaining plastic fibres are processed into pellets, which gets mixed into asphalt. As well as recycling waste plastic, it also helps to bind the asphalt and make it more durable.

“Using nappy pellets is another step forward in our efforts to be more sustainable, we are already making a valuable contribution to recycling plastics through our innovative Plastipave(r) product range. We are looking for ways to stretch targets as we strive to be leaders in terms of recycling innovation. In the future we would also like to develop bio-binders comprising plant-based bitumen.”

“As a council we’re committed to reducing our carbon footprint to zero by 2030 and to finding new, greener alternatives to traditional methods, so we were pleased to work with Rainton Construction on this scheme. We welcome innovation and it’s good to know that material that otherwise would have ended up in landfill has been repurposed in improving our road network. I look forward to seeing what other ideas come forward in the future.”
Councillor Andy Keir, cabinet member for local services at Darlington Borough Council