Compostable Diapers

1) Sustainability Problem: Solid Waste

Specifically, diaper waste. Every baby goes through about 5,000 diapers in their lifetime. In the US this means that 20 billion diapers a year end up in landfills. This makes diapers the 3rd biggest single product contributing to the waste stream that enters  landfills. Landfills produce GHG gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). In total, landfills account for nearly 36% of annual methane emissions in the U.S.

2) Technology:

  • Pioneers in the eco-friendly diaper industry, gCycle’s gDiaper is the world’s first certified cradle-to-cradle, 100 percent compostable children’s diaper.
  • The gDiaper replacing oil-based plastic with non-GMO corn biofilm.
  • In their pilot program with childcare centers in Australia, gCycle delivers their compostable diapers and then picks them up once they are used. The childcare centers are able to divert 80% of their waste stream from landfill. gCycle turns the used diapers into compost and then returns the compost to the childcare centers who use it onsite or give it to parents.
  • The company also provides instructions on how to compost the diapers at home here

3) Stakeholders:

  • parents
  • childcare centers
  • commercial diaper brands
  • composting centers

4) Deployment/Implementation

  • Expand pilot test from Australia
  • Begin selling in retail stores
  • Launch ad campaign to raise awareness of brand


Comment on

Very interesting idea but have you thought about the effect floating cities will have on marine life? Also will these cities be able to produce enough food to sustain their populations? If not, how would resources be imported to the city?



2 thoughts on “Compostable Diapers

  1. It can take 50-150 days for the diapers to break down – that’s a lot of used diapers on hand at any given time. Furthermore, you need proper ratios of greens (i.e. grass clippings) to browns (i.e. dried leaves) to help compost the diaper. I’m skeptical that parents will try this if their own baby’s natural browns can’t be composted, as the article suggests (“do not compost poopy disposable inserts”).


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