Is diaper gel biodegradable?

The article will discuss the biodegradability of diaper gel while also covering topics such as

  • Is diaper gel eco-friendly?
  • How to dispose of diaper gel?
  • Is there any green diaper gel?
  • What material is diaper gel made of?

Is diaper gel biodegradable?

Diaper gel is not biodegradable as it is made from Super Absorbing Polymers that abbreviate into SAPs. These Super Absorbing Polymers are made from synthetic materials (such as Sodium Polyacrylate) that are mostly plastics.

Diaper gel can not be given the status of eco-friendly as they are non-biodegradable and source from non-renewable resources that contribute to environmental anomalies such as global warming, pollution, and deforestation– to name a few. 

However, there are some options available in the market that are actually made from plant-based sources (super absorbent polymer that is made from chitosan, sugar extracted from seafood waste) and therefore, will be biodegradable in nature. 

What material is diaper gel made of?

Diaper gel is made from Super Absorbing Polymers that abbreviate into SAPs. These Super Absorbing Polymers are made from synthetic materials that are mostly plastics. 

The choice of material can tell a lot about the environment-related parameters such as the biodegradability status, composting possibility, how eco-friendly the material is and lastly, how to properly dispose of any particular material. 

If we talk about diaper gel, it is mostly made from material such as Sodium Polyacrylate. These are synthetic polymers that are derived from fossil fuels and are non-biodegradable and unsustainable in nature. 

The primary reason for that being is that these polymers are derived from non-renewable resources. The utilisation of such non-renewable resources implies the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to environmental phenomena such as global warming, pollution, and deforestation– to name a few. 

Is diaper gel unsustainable and toxic?

Yes, diaper gel is said to be unsustainable in nature because of the fact that it is non-biodegradable and is derived from non-renewable resources that contribute to environmental anomalies mentioned in the previous passage. 

The notion here is that only naturally-derived materials are prone to be eco-friendly because such materials will be sourced from nature and will also be biodegradable. 

However, in the case of diaper gel, the source is not renewable and biodegradable and therefore, diaper gel can not be given the status of being sustainable or eco-friendly. 

Usually the terms eco-friendly and toxic to the environment go together. What is observed is that if something is not eco-friendly, it is also toxic to the environment as there will be detrimental impacts rendered by such material or product. 

How to dispose of diaper gel?

Diaper gel is an integral part of diapers and is covered with outer materials. The main purpose of this gel is to stop and hold the waste so that there is no leak et cetera. 

Usually, when a diaper has been used, you are not required to separate or segregate the diaper gel because it is not the right thing to do. In fact, exposure to large amounts of diaper gel or diaper gel beads may also trigger medical complications, especially for children. 

Therefore, the best way to deal with or dispose of diaper gel is to discard the whole diaper in trash cans. Now, the catch here is that what is the right way to discard diapers? Can diapers be recycled or composted? 

Unfortunately, when it comes to the case of single-use diapers, the diapers are made from a mix of materials that does also include plastics. Now, it is a known fact that plastic is not biodegradable and will require many years to break down in a landfill. Also, you can not compost plastic as there is no organic content present inside plastics. 

Therefore, unfortunately, you can neither recycle nor compost diapers. The only thing you can do is to throw diapers in regular trash cans and from there, they will be taken to landfills. 

The reason why diapers can not be recycled is that diapers contain a mix of materials and also used diapers are dirty and contaminated which can pollute the recycling machinery or put the workers at risk. 

Is there any green diaper gel?

Yes, not all diaper gel is made from synthetic polymers. There are some options available in the market that are actually made from plant-based sources (super absorbent polymer that is made from chitosan, sugar extracted from seafood waste) and therefore, will be biodegradable in nature. 

The rising consumerism and industrialisation have come with an unprecedented cost to the environment in the form of environmental anomalies such as global warming, pollution, acid rains, deforestation, unprecedented weather patterns et cetera. 

All these anomalies have increased the consumer’s proclivity towards green and eco-friendly. It is the exact same proclivity that edified the production of bioplastics from plant-based sources such as sugarcane, sugar beets, mushrooms et cetera. 

The case of diaper gel is also similar. A recent intervention has given greener and brighter prospects and has taken humanity one step closer to biodegradable and compostable diapers that will alleviate the waste problems generated by diaper usage. 

As it is estimated that diapers constitute more than 2% of the entire space of landfills. As per studies, an average baby uses more than 3,000 diapers in its first years. 

Let us get back to the intervention. Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (India) developed a biodegradable super-absorbent polymer that is made from chitosan (sugar extracted from seafood waste). 

It was seen that this biodegradable and renewable polymer which they named CHCAUR was 8 times as effective as conventional SAPs. 

Conclusion

It is concluded that diaper gel is not biodegradable as it is made from Super Absorbing Polymers that abbreviate into SAPs. These Super Absorbing Polymers are made from synthetic materials (such as Sodium Polyacrylate) that are mostly plastics.

Diaper gel can not be given the status of eco-friendly as they are non-biodegradable and source from non-renewable resources that contribute to environmental anomalies such as global warming, pollution, and deforestation– to name a few. 

However, there are some options available in the market that are actually made from plant-based sources (super absorbent polymer that is made from chitosan, sugar extracted from seafood waste) and therefore, will be biodegradable in nature. 

References

  • Havlak, Paul. (February 14, 1996). How diapers work. Retrieved from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/1996/02/14/how-diapers-work/574ebe48-b23f-4d12-9523-151761ed55b2/

Leave a Comment