Renewi plc and Essity, a hygiene and health company, have reported that they are working together to develop an innovative solution for the processing of used baby nappies and incontinence materials from the care sector and municipalities in the Netherlands.
Renewi and Essity (a producer of well-known branded products such as TENA and Libero) are developing a sustainable solution to recycle nappies and incontinence materials. In the Netherlands 400,000 tonnes of this material, between five and eight percent of residual waste, is currently sent to incineration per year. The recycling of these nappies and incontinence materials would make a significant contribution to the ambitious goals of the Dutch government who aim to increase recycling rates for household waste to 75% in 2020 and for a full circular economy without any waste by 2050.
Renewi has been working on a method to process and recycle incontinence materials over the last few years with a focus to recover the valuable raw materials. One of the main components is a high quality cellulose fibre. Renewi will reuse the cellulose recovered in the recycling process as a secondary raw material for the chemical industry, where cellulose is widely used.
In this new partnership, Essity will provide knowledge about these products and their specific markets, while Renewi will be responsible for the source segregation and collection of these materials from the customer base and the further development of a recycling solution that will enable the recovery of the cellulose.
Eric Segers, Director Specialties in Renewi’s Netherlands Commercial Division said: “We are always looking for new, innovative ways to process waste streams into valuable raw materials. The amount of nappies currently sent to incineration is not sustainable, we look forward to working with Essity to recycle more of these materials and achieve our ‘waste no more’ vision.”
Wilma Venes, Public & Regulatory affairs manager at Essity said: “Essity has been involved in the government’s nappies project since its started at the end of 2014. We are also member of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s CE100 network which helps companies to develop circular solutions. As a member of CE100, Essity generates new insights and ideas, which we convert into innovations and concrete solutions, of which this project is a good example.”