“Horizontally” recycled diapers launched in Japan for the first time worldwide

Producing diapers from other (used) diapers, so "horizontal" recycling guarantees an even longer life cycle

A Japanese company has adeptly navigated shifting population trends and is now poised to launch recycled adult diapers made from children’s diapers. This innovative move exemplifies how businesses can adapt and thrive by aligning with demographic changes.

Unicharm, a prominent Japanese hygiene product manufacturer based in Kagoshima Prefecture in southwestern Japan, has introduced these adult diapers in shopping centers across Kyushu, one of Japan’s four main islands. These products are notably marketed as being “horizontally” recycled, representing a novel commercial approach to diaper-to-diaper recycling.

To produce these recycled diapers, Unicharm has implemented advanced sterilization, bleaching, and deodorization technologies, primarily utilizing ozone to ensure the new products are free from unpleasant odors and bacteria. Naturally, these diapers have received regulatory approval regarding hygiene before hitting the market.

Recycled diapers

What does “horizontal recycling” mean?

Horizontal recycling is becoming increasingly popular in Japan and involves the recovery and transformation of used products back into raw materials to recreate the original product.

For instance, while most used plastic bottles are typically recycled into fibers and other items, such as food trays, beverage manufacturers are now focusing on recycling them back into new plastic bottles. Diapers are the latest product to follow this trend.

“We aim to transform a high-resource-intensity standard into a cyclic standard. We have received expert approval regarding the hygiene of the diapers,” stated Tsutomu Kido, General Manager at Unicharm.

A package of 42 children’s diapers is priced at 1,078 yen (approximately $7, just under 6 euros). What do you think?

Condividi su Whatsapp Condividi su Linkedin