We have through research, gained clarity as to what biobased or biodegradable diapers are. Essentially, we have come to understand that a biodegradable diaper is made of a core that has biodegradable material and components with equally so, biodegradable material. This biodegradable material should at least be over 25% of the make-up of the component.

The biodegradable diaper is then deposited deeply at landfills or compost sites for the biodegradation to begin. The benchmarks set for biodegradability ensures that the diaper is reduced to water, carbon and inorganic matter.

Considering that the diaper is in a perfect environment to biologically degrade to the basis of water, carbon and inorganic material, could we not stop the biodegradation process? What for?

 

Composting

Compostable Diapers - Photo by Pop & Zebra on Unsplash

The process of composting essentially means that biological material is broken down into a state of matter which retains its natural state, this breakdown is essentially organic matter, water, and carbon. Could we not then allow the diaper to then breakdown into organic matter, water and carbon to thereafter turn this into compost which may be able to be used as a resource in nature.

Indeed, this is the case, biodegradable diapers are being rethought as a natural resource. Biodegradable diapers are as well-being researched from a different perspective and it has shown significant levels of composting[i].

 

 

 

 

What does the research indicate?[ii]

Research into the compostability of biodegradable diapers Compostable Diaper - Photo by Ethan Bodnar on Unsplashhas heralded significant development in further usage of biodegradable compostable diapers. The researchers undertook a separate collection of compostable diapers. This process was compared to lab experiments with the compostable diaper. The inquiry demonstrated that neither the compost nor was the composting process affected by the presence of compostable diapers. These findings provide insight that municipal solid wastes with compostable diapers are in fact able to produce significant-high-quality composts.[iii]

 

 

 

 Research Key Take-Aways[iv]

Compostable Nappies - Photo by Nicola Perantoni on Unsplash

Under lab-controlled conditions approximately 50% of the carbon of the compostable baby diaper resulted in biodegradation. In addition, there were no differences noted between compost produced without diapers as to those with biodegradable diapers.

These findings make composting of biodegradable waste and biodegradable diapers a highly feasible option under full-scale conditions.[v]

This means more than, just simply dumping diapers at landfills and forgetting about them, these very same biodegradable diapers can come to use in the most natural of forms, compost.

 

 

Garden Composting

We have certainty that we may be able to obtain compost from biodegradable diapers, but how about our own garden composting…is this possible?… is this considered safe? This is indeed possible but with certain conditions which would require some careful consideration and steady-handed garden work.[vi]

An aspect to bear in mind is that this may only be done for flower gardens, trees, and shrubs, but never for a food garden. The conditions in the traditional home garden is not conducive for pathogens to dissipate, these pathogens may then be retained in the soil and pose a real danger. Thus, composting diapers are not appropriate for food gardens It would be absolutely crucial to compost only the wet compostable baby diapers and not the ones with solid output[vii].

The Compostable DiaperThe idea is to tear the diaper to access it core. It is preferred that the core is access from the out of the diaper at the front. Once opened the core of biodegradable fiber becomes accessible for composting. The remaining material if biodegradable may also be composted. If the remaining material is plastic, then that should be disposed of as normal waste for the landfill or dump where long term deep landfills are used for greater dissipation of matter.[viii]

Although there may be certain variations in the time frames for biodegradation due to the type of fibers used, whether synthetic or natural, the term which should be left for a breakdown of the biodegradable fiber should not be less than three months and at best six months[ix].

 

 

 

Space

Could this concept of compostable baby diaper be utilized as Maximum Absorption Garments - Photo by JJ Shev on UnsplashMAG’s[x] by astronauts on space stations in conducting the space station laboratory experiments? This may one day be possible. This may also be considered for use in biospheres which may be constructed on another planet. Perhaps our first stop; ‘Mars’ would be the frontier of exploring alternative methods of terraformation based on the concept of compostable baby diapers, where Maximum Absorption Garments are then subsequently composted under specific conditions.This idea of diaper compositing as we see it has a great future with great potential both terrestrially and in space exploration.

 

Conclusion

We have over the years taken much from the little blue planet, the advancement in biodegradable diapers is a small step for humans to be able to take giant steps in giving back. It’s about time that we considered not only our profits, not just our people but also our planet. It is these considerations that distill into key aspects of caring for our environment, society and how we are able to govern our relationship with our planet. If we cannot leave anything of our planet to the baby what else is there to leave?

 

Babygienic.com ©

 

Footnotes

[i] Performance of compostable baby used diapers in the composting process with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, Joan Colón, Maria Mestre-Montserrat, Ignasi Puig-Ventosa,
Antoni Sánchez,

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X13000482?via=ihub

[ii] Performance of compostable baby used diapers in the composting process with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, Joan Colón, Maria Mestre-Montserrat, Ignasi Puig-Ventosa, Antoni Sánchez

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X13000482?via=ihub

 

[iii] Performance of compostable baby used diapers in the composting process with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, Joan Colón, Maria Mestre-Montserrat, Ignasi Puig-Ventosa, Antoni Sánchez, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X13000482?via=ihub

[iv] Performance of compostable baby used diapers in the composting process with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, Joan Colón, Maria Mestre-Montserrat, Ignasi Puig-Ventosa,
Antoni Sánchez, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X13000482?via=ihub

[v] Performance of compostable baby used diapers in the composting process with the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, Joan Colón, Maria Mestre-Montserrat, Ignasi Puig-Ventosa,
Antoni Sánchez, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X13000482?via=ihub

[vi]
Can You Compost Diapers: Learn About Composting Diapers At Home, Anne Baley, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-diapers.htm

[vii] Can You Compost Diapers: Learn About Composting Diapers At Home, Anne Baley, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-diapers.htm

[viii]
Can You Compost Diapers: Learn About Composting Diapers At Home, Anne Baley, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/ingredients/composting-diapers.htm

[ix]
How long do biodegradable bags take to decompose, Jack Serle, https://www.sciencefocus.com/science/how-long-do-biodegradable-bags-take-to-decompose/

[x] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maximum_Absorbency_Garment

 

 

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