We at Crinklz are constantly looking into ways we can become more sustainable as a company. Not only are we concerned with the manufacturing process, we also look into ways we can be more green post-usage.
Diaper recycling is slowly evolving although there is no real recycling yet. Here is a brief overview of current diaper recycling projects:
- In Southern Germany, a purpose-built oven called "Windel-Willi“ was created to incinerate adult diapers. It can handle about eight million diapers per year. The energy released by the diapers is used to power nursing homes and replaces oil heating. A used diaper has about 58% moisture content and a caloric value like moist wood. At 910°C, the diapers burn within seconds.
- In Wales, a company has created a process that turns used diapers into new road surfaces. Their plastics and cellulose fibers were already being separated for reuse. The resulting cellulose has been used in noticeboards, paneling, insulation, and under laminate flooring, while the plastics are recycled elsewhere. The leftover fibers are added to bitumen and strengthen road surfaces. The resulting road surfaces are stronger than alternative materials that were previously used.
- In Holland, a new recycling process was created, which uses heat and pressure to sterilize and separate the used diaper components. The resulting materials are used to create plastic granulate, cardboard and paper, energy, and fertilizer/compost.
- In Italy, a similar process to the one in Holland was created to recycle diapers and extract secondary raw materials.
These recycling efforts still constitute downcycling though as the resulting materials cannot be used in high-end applications such as diapers. Therefore, further steps are required to achieve a circular economy.
Moving forward, new materials and recycling processes will become available that will help reduce the environmental impact of disposable diapers. We are investigating all these possibilities and will implement them as quickly as possible.