Procter & Gamble is looking to reduce consumer waste by developing recyclable versions of its absorbent products including diapers, sanitary products and potentially Swiffer pads.
Absorbent products often contain multiple types of recyclable and non-recyclable plastics and other materials that are difficult to separate. Once they are separated, suitable recycling streams must be found for each material, according to a patent P&G filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office late last month. P&G wants to reduce the number of materials and replace them with more sustainable options.
“The more materials to be separated in the absorbent article recycling operation, the more complex and expensive the recycling operation becomes,” the patent application reads. “The proliferation of regulations limiting landfill waste, along with rising costs, have made traditional disposal of waste in landfills less desirable.”
“In addition, increasing the amount of content derived from sustainable, bio-based sources helps to alleviate demand for non-renewable resources and meets the growing consumer demand for absorbent articles, such as diapers, which are made with sustainable materials,” it continues.
The consumer packaged goods company has stepped up its sustainability efforts in recent months. At the start of the year P&G announced it was partnering with Loop–a circular shopping system designed to reduce single-use packaging. Products available on the platform are packaged in reusable glass or metal containers and shipped directly to customers in a specially designed tote.