New solutions to a messy situation
Author: Liam Taylor
A manufacturer of responsibly-sourced bamboo diapers has teamed up with specialist recycling company TerraCycle to offer a circular solution to a problematic waste item – disposable diapers.
Dyper is a subscription service currently delivering bamboo-fibre diapers directly to customers in the USA. These diapers can be composted at home (under appropriate conditions), at commercial composting facilities or mailed back to Dyper for composting through TerraCycle’s industrial facilities.
Standard disposable nappies are estimated to take up to 150 years to break down due to chemical agents that reduce their biodegradability. In contrast, Dyper diapers are made with viscose fibres from responsibly-sourced bamboo, meaning they can be diverted from landfill and into compost. The diapers returned via the ReDyper mailback program are composted by TerraCycle partners to be used in commercial landscaping such as highway median strips.
According to Sustainability Victoria, an incredible 3.75 million disposable nappies are used each day in Australia and New Zealand. Biodegradable options are out there on the market but with industrial composting still in its relative infancy in Australia, the chance of actually getting them composted is quite low.
While programs such as Dyper are currently unavailable in Australia, the rise of modern cloth nappies has made reducing dependency on disposable options easier for parents. Many cloth nappies now have convenient cleaning methods, highly absorbent liners and creative designs whilst also being significantly cheaper over time. Ultimately, reusable options such as these should always be preferenced over single-use options where possible.
- Check out Sustainability Victoria’s guide to eco-friendlier alternatives to disposable nappies for more advice on reducing the environmental footprint of nappies.
- If you’re interested in learning more about reusable alternatives to disposable nappies, Bounty Parents recently published a review of products available in Australia.
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Author: Liam TaylorLiam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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