Recycling of diapers and incontinence materials

The waste stream of diapers and incontinence materials accounts for approximately 8-10% of the residual waste. In Europe, that is an enormous mountain of Million 11 tons of diaper waste every year (50/50 diapers vs. incontinence materials), which we burn to recover energy or bring to landfill. Diaper Recycling Europe has developed the technology to recover the raw materials from diapers and make them available for reuse. Completely clean. Without pathogens. Free from medicines. And with minimal energy and water consumption. And the best part: we save no less than 70% on CO2 emissions, compared to incineration!

What is our unique method?

We are convinced that diapers and incontinence products are so practical that they will be used for a long time. That is why we have developed a technology that recycles diapers with a high yield. The components of diapers, wood fibers, plastics and SAPs, are separated from each other, during which the deactivation of the SAP’s is pivotal. This is a delicate process that makes our technology unique. In addition, in order to meet the strict requirements of Health Institutions, we apply a number of innovative decontamination techniques to clean both the recovered materials and the wastewater from pathogens and medicines. With minimal use of energy and water.

The benefits of our unique technology
  • Deactivation of the SAPs: without deactivation, separation of materials is not possible
  • Separation of materials: clean end products mean high earnings
  • Advanced decontamination: with techniques that require little energy
  • Free of pathogens and medicines: so that we can re-use the end products safely in other products
  • Efficient use of energy and water and 70% less CO2 emissions
Our role in the process

Our role in the diaper waste chain is clear: we provide the technology for the recycling of used diapers. Because we have the expertise to recycle diapers in a controlled manner, we know which processes and machines are required and we know how to build the factories that can process 18,000 tons of used diapers annually. We provide the knowledge and additional services for doing this. But we cannot do this alone. That is why we like to work with the waste processing industry and governmental institutions to realize successful recycling projects. But our role as a technology supplier also means that we are committed to developing know how. We continue to refine our techniques to make every new project better.

Pilot 1 and Pilot 2

Our first pilot will start in the second half of 2024, where we will prove on a small scale that all steps of the process work exactly as we have in mind. Naturally, this is an exciting, but also challenging period. We will demonstrate on a small scale that we can properly separate the materials from the diapers and remove all contamination. The second pilot is planned for 2025. During this second pilot we will recycle several tons of material in a semi-automated manner. By then, we are ready for the real deal.

100% recycling – 0% incineration

Re-use raw materials

Very valuable raw materials can be reused from each diaper. Plastics, fibres, the Super Absorbing Polymers (SAPs) and of course what we collect, for which the diaper was initially designed. All these substances are recovered: clean and economically. The qualitative residual flows find their way to new products. Preferably in a circular stream.

Lowest carbon footprint

Together with our technology partners, we have developed a diaper processing facility that meets the highest environmental requirements. With a very efficient use of energy and water. And with a very high 'yield': the amount of material that can be used in other products after recycling. According to research by Deloitte, diaper recycling saves 70% of CO2 emissions compared to incineration.

Research & Development

We are happy with where we are with our current technology. But we don't stop there. It must and can be done even better. We are committed to improving our recycling process. Even higher quality of the residual flows, thinking along with the design of diaper products, finding new uses for recycled SAP's. We are far from finished.

Our 18,000-ton diaper recycling plant saves 70% of CO2 annually.