Disposable diapers for incontinence are a growing fraction of municipal waste, due to the progressive aging of the population in our society. Besides their increasing volume, most disposable diapers are not recyclable and they end up in landfills or waste incinerators. However, this waste could be avoided replacing them by reusable ones. Those consist of an absorbent material which can be washed after each use and re-used. There are different types of reusable diapers to suit the characteristics and type of incontinence of each person.
The Metropolitan Area of Barcelona, with a grant from the Catalan Waste Agency (ARC), commissioned ENT Environment and Management to study the feasibility of implementing reusable diapers in a geriatric residence in Barcelona. Subsequently, a three-month pilot was conducted. ENT was in charge of implementing and monitoring the experience.
With the use of reusable diapers during the pilot, the generation of 1.1 kg per person per day of waste was avoided.