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Recycling Diapers

2011/11/27

I know, I know.  That sounds really gross, right?  But recycling disposable diapers needs to be done for three reasons.  First, disposable diapers require a lot of resources to manufacture: recycling a tonne of diapers saves 400 kg of wood, 143 cubic meters of natural gas and 8 700 cubic meters of water.  Second, diapers take about 500 years to break down naturally during which time they continuously release hazardous materials into the environment.  And finally, we use a lot of diapers: the UK throws out about 2 billion diapers a year, the US about 15 billion diapers a year (and so, figure about 1 billion diapers a year in Canada).

Unfortunately, the fact that diapers are such a complex mixture of ingredients makes their recycling challenging.  So, in comes the British company Knowaste.  Take a look a the video below to see their recycling process.

Through this process, Knowaste is able to recycle 98% of diapers and feminine hygiene products.  The company’s main recycling facility is in Toronto (Canada) and they are planning five more facilities around the globe in the next four years.

Having said all of this, don’t forget, “Reduce” comes before “Recycle”.  In other words, using cloth diapers is a better alternative to disposables.  But if it has to be disposable diapers, it’s good to know that there is someone out there able to recycle them.  Let’s hope that the company is successful and this service becomes available all over the world.

 

Source: mattermore

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