P&G’s technology sanitizes the diapers, then separates the various materials used in their construction. Each tonne of used hygienic material produces about 150 kilograms of cellulose, 75 kg of mixed plastic and 75 kg of absorbent material, according to a press release issued in October. The facility can handle about 10,000 tons of collected material annually, it estimates. That covers about 1 million people.
P&G will work with cities to encourage the development of scalable collection systems. It is working with a consortium of about a dozen other companies, founded by a European Union grant, which are exploring ways to increase the value of the raw materials.