Clarity Environmental supports nappy recycling event

Disposable nappies have become a mounting waste problem, and we are proud to be supporting an event to discuss possible solutions for recycling nappies and other Absorbent Hygiene Product (AHP) materials.

‘Solving the nappy waste problem’ will be held at University of Brighton on Thursday, 11 April 2019. Chaired by Jimmy Dorrell, Head of Sustainable Business at Clarity Environmental, this event will mark the first year of a 3-year research programme by medical waste company, Medisort, and University of Brighton to find sustainable solutions to recycling nappies and other AHP products, such as incontinence pads and sanitary towels.

According to WRAP, by the time a child is potty trained, they could have used 4,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies in the UK. Most end up in incineration or landfill, where they take approximately 500 years to biodegrade. Over the past decade, waste management companies have partnered up with product developers to find solutions to the nappy waste problem, and a number of test facilities have been built across the country. To date, none of these solutions have been sustainable or scalable.

After one year of drawing expertise from process scientists, microbiologists and ecologists, Medisort believes that a sustainable solution has now been found. This collaborative event will discuss this progress, covering the potentials for decontamination, sorting, and recycling offensive healthcare wastes into bio-composite materials, soil amendments, and chemicals, as well as identifying viable end markets for recycled products.

“We collect and dispose of nearly a million nappies from care homes across the UK every single year. Whilst most of the healthcare waste that we collect is recycled and turned into energy, it’s not possible to do so with nappies. We are committed to finding that solution and are excited by the latest breakthrough,” said Stuart Brittle, MD of Medisort.

“Partnering with the University of Brighton from the very beginning was a crucial decision to ensuring that this project finds long-lasting success. Following this breakthrough, we are now in conversations with a number of commercial global partners to help us ensure that all disposable nappies can be recycled within the next 5 years.”

Jimmy Dorrell, Head of Sustainable Business at Clarity Environmental, explained why we were so keen to be a part of this event: “With the widescale regulation changes that lie ahead for the resource and recycling sector, we are passionate about supporting any innovation or research that could help identify and progress sustainable practices for our compliance members.

“We are delighted to provide ongoing support to this project, which is helping us to go beyond compliance and provide guidance to members of our packaging compliance scheme, enabling them to get access to vital research that could transform the way they manage their waste in the future.”

Take part in the discussions 

‘Solving the nappy waste problem’ is a free event taking place at the University of Brighton, Varley Park on Thursday 11 April 2019 from 9.30am to 2pm. It will include talks by Medisort's leading scientists, researchers from the University of Brighton and the Clean Growth UK, as well as a workshop, panel event and views from Jo Gallagher, Editor of Recycling and Waste World Magazine, on progressive innovative waste practices. 

If you would like to attend the free event, register your details on Eventbrite.

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