Japan’s Zuiko’s partnership to develop diaper recycling technology

  • Zuiko Corporation partners with Takeei Corporation, Soma city, and Yamagata University to develop recycling technology for used diapers, addressing environmental challenges in Japan.
  • The collaboration aims to establish a pilot project in Soma City, focusing on converting diaper waste into fuel and promoting a recycling-oriented, decarbonised society.

Zuiko Corporation has announced its collaborative agreement with Takeei Corporation, Soma city, and Yamagata University, to advance the development of recycling used diapers. The official signing ceremony was held on May 27, 2024.

In aging societies like Japan, the number and volume of used diapers have increased in recent years. Local governments are challenged with the collection and incineration of used diapers creating an environmental and sanitary burden at disposal sites. Plastics including superabsorbent polymers, and human excrement make recycling diapers a tremendous challenge.

Takeei Corporation is currently planning an environment complex called ‘Soma Circular Park’. In collaboration with the city of Soma, various businesses, and universities, the park aims to utilise waste derived resources and help realise a decarbonised society, the company said in a press release.

Zuiko Corporation is a leader and global manufacturer of production machines for disposable hygiene products like diapers and sanitary napkins. It also develops and sells equipment that converts used disposable diapers into fuel. Yamagata University is a leading Japanese university with research capabilities and experience in identifying and contributing solutions to issues related to the recycling of various types of waste.

Soma City will be home to the agreed pilot project. Takeei, Yamagata University, and Zuiko will build, conduct research, and promote the diaper recycling technology. The site will comprehensively demonstrate real-world conditions and help identify issues related to using used diapers as fuel and for its future commercialisation. The data collected will aid in the research and future establishment of operations for difficult-to-recycle plastics and combustible waste.

The project aims to promote a recycling oriented and decarbonised society by transforming difficult-to-process waste into recyclable resources. Collecting diaper waste, converting it into fuel by private businesses, and evaluating the resulting data by university academics is a step in this endeavour.

Source: Technical Textile

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