Make Use of Dirty Diapers
Science & Tech / /
Dippers can easily make up to 60% of the waste in a household where there are either incontinent adults or babies. But just because they are disposable, does not mean they cannot be reused.
There are at least two developed recycling technologies that have already been proven in recycling absorbent hygiene products (AHP). Namely, AHPs make an excellent medium for growing mushrooms, and the other one is developed by a British company called Knowaste, specialized in extracting and selling plastic and fibre from them.
Since 1990s the Knowaste company, which claims to be the world’s first specialized company for recycling all kinds of AHPs including dirty diapers, adult incontinence products, and feminine hygiene products has been researching and developing technologies for recycling and reusing them.
The fact that Knowaste deals with only one kind of waste, which is AHP, offer fiber and plastic pellets that have higher quality compared to most other recyclers, which recycle multiple varieties of plastic and other wastes.
Knowaste company has also begun supplying Waste2Aromatics, a Dutch-run project by tech company Biorizon, with AHP’s. As Design Indaba magazine reports, the researchers are working on converting the virgin wood fibre from recycled nappies and other absorbent hygiene products into bio-aromatics – raw materials for the chemical industry – which can be used in coatings, lubricants, and performance plasters.
If production rates of these bio-aromatics were scaled up, it could have the potential to successfully replace traditionally produced aromatics that are made using fossil fuels, aiding in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and slowing down resource depletion. Currently working with hospitals and nursing homes to procure a steady supply of AHP’s, Knowaste’s aim to eventually tap into the harder to access domestic stream – estimated to produce three times the amount – could help hasten this ambition, Design Indaba reported.
Even though plans for the commercialization of this technology are still underway, there are expectations that a pilot plant will be established by 2019 in the Netherlands.