Composting diaper trials launch in Paris.
At g, we are irrepressible about getting plastic out of disposable diapers, both for our babies and for the planet.
Today, we are excited to share one of our collaborations is officially up and testing in Paris with a full delivery, collection, and composting service.
Although there have been attempts to commercially compost disposable diapers in the US, all existing brands contain plastic. This means they require special processing because the plastic ingredients contaminate the compost. In contrast, the Paris trial relies on diaper inserts/pads specifically designed to be commercially composted and re-absorbed back into nature. Waste to resource. It’s that simple.
ONTEX TESTS INDUSTRIAL-SCALE COMPOSTING OF DIAPERS
- Disposable Ontex diaper pads are tested for compostability at the site of Les Alchimistes in Pantin near Paris, France.
- Pads with compostable materials are combined with a circular diaper solution developed by expert gDiapers.
- Ontex is running tests with several companies that are developing technology to recycle or compost diaper waste as part of its commitment to move to a circular economy business model.
- The announcement follows last month’s news of Ontex joining forces with Belgian start-up Woosh to make diaper recycling a reality.
Aalst (Belgium), April 20, 2021 – Ontex (Euronext: ONTEX) and circular economy company Les Alchimistes announce their collaboration to test the compostability of diaper pads.
"Our goal is to make the separate collection and composting of used, compostable diapers a reality”, said Maïwenn Mollet, director of the Fertile Diapers program at Les Alchimistes. “We are very happy that Ontex and their brand Little Big Change are joining our mission. Ontex has the engineering knowledge and resources to design diapers that can be compostable. Our goal is to create a new circular economy loop with Ontex and other like-minded companies and to compost 500 million diapers by 2030.”
Ontex and Les Alchimistes have set up a pilot project at Les Alchimistes’ industrial composting site near Paris with the aim of proving that composting of Ontex diaper pads is possible, and that waste and incineration can be reduced. The project requires cooperation between different partners: from suppliers of materials, diaper manufacturers like Ontex, to waste collection and to composting partners using suitable technology.
“Together with partner company gDiapers, which has 17 years of expertise in hybrid compostable diapers, the Ontex Little Big Change brand has developed a new diaper system. The system consists of a reusable outer diaper made of cotton and a disposable diaper pad which is designed to be industrially compostable. We are now testing if the diaper pads can be composted on an industrial scale by working together with a test group of 30 families in Paris who subscribe to Ontex’s baby diaper service Little Big Change”, said Annick De Poorter, Executive Vice President R&D, Quality and Sustainability, Ontex.
The announcement of the industrial-scale composting test with Les Alchimistes follows the news of Ontex’s collaboration with Woosh, a Belgian start-up that is on a mission to recycle diaper waste into raw materials and, in doing so, create a large-scale solution for diaper recycling. Although Woosh takes a different approach to the one adopted by Les Alchimistes (focusing on recycling rather than composting) both projects fit with Ontex’s ambitions and sustainability strategy for 2030 to reduce diaper waste through different technologies.
“As a major player in essential personal hygiene, we recognize the need to find alternatives to landfill and incineration for our used products. We are examining ways to reduce CO2-emissions all through their different life cycle phases. As we ourselves move towards a circular economy business model, it is a natural and logical step to work together with other companies to make our diapers more recyclable or compostable. We support Les Alchimistes’ mission to learn how diapers can be composted and are eager to discover the results of the tests,” says Annick De Poorter.
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Ontex produces and distributes personal hygiene solutions worldwide, including baby diapers. Every year, more than €2 billion of Ontex products are distributed in more than 110 countries, under the brands of customers and retailers or under their own Ontex brands, such as Little Big Change. The transition to the circular economy is part of Ontex's sustainability strategy. When designing new products, Ontex assumes the design-for-recycling concept, up to and including the packaging. Ontex studies every stage in the life cycle of a product, including collaboration with partners, recycling infrastructure, environmental impact. The Ontex headquarters are located in Aalst, in addition to production sites in Buggenhout, Eeklo and 17 other locations worldwide. https://ontex.com
About Les Alchimistes:
Les Alchimistes is a company created by passionate engineers in Paris, France, who believe that composting of used diapers is the best circular solution possible for the planet. They have been working for years with restaurants, collecting their organic food waste, and composting it with love. Now, they want to learn how to do it with compostable diapers in their professional diaper composting laboratory. But they needed the right partners to design diapers that can be composted, and they found Ontex.
About Little Big Change
LBC is a diaper subscription service, present in six European countries, including Belgium and France. The diapers are produced in a CO2 neutral way in Europe. LBC is continuously working to improve the ecological footprint of this diaper service. (www.little-big-change.com/be-nl/)
In 2005, Australian parents Kim & Jason Graham-Nye launched the world’s first Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM hybrid diaper to give parents the best of cloth and disposable diapers. By separating the diaper into two parts, single use plastic could be replaced with breathable and waterproof textiles, while the disposable insert could be composted - reducing waste and replenishing the earth. Parents loved both the fashion and the waste reduction and gDiapers expanded from the US into Canada, the UK, Germany, France, & Korea.
With the pandemic disrupting the company’s supply chain, gDiapers is focusing on new partnerships, such as the one with Ontex, along with new innovation supporting the circular economy for the diaper industry through renewable materials. gDiapers will be re-launching to consumers in 2022.