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Lappeenranta University of Technology, Environmental Technology

BABY DIAPER
BH60A4400 Introduction to Sustainability
BACKGROUND
The worldwide production of disposable baby diapers is rapidly growing
An infant uses around 3600-4250 units of diapers before learning how to use toilet
Composition of a typical baby diaper
Components Materials Used
Top Sheet Polypropylene (PP)
Acquisition and Super Absorbent Polymer (SAP) (mostly Sodium
Distribution Layer Polyacrylate)
Absorbent Core Fluff Pulp and SAP
Backsheet LDPE films
RESEARCH PROBLEMS AND QUESTIONS
• What are environmental impacts of baby diapers “cradle to grave” life?
• What impacts has the “end-of-life” phase of baby diapers life-cycle?
• What sustainable alternatives there are to replace raw materials currently used?

OBJECTIVES
• To make a sustainable assessment of baby diapers KEY RESULTS
• To identify the life cycle processes of baby diaper
• To suggest further development solutions to reduce the environmental impacts of
baby diapers life cycle

SCOPE AND LIMITATION


Product system to be studied: Production and disposal of baby diapers.
Depletion of Natural Resources I Air Pollutant Emissions
Categories of M
impact intended: Land Use P Water Pollutants emissions
A
Water Consumption C
Solid Waste Generation
Energy Consumption T Soil Pollution
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY:
• Lack of technical data
• Covered major environmental impact indicators as mentioned above.

DISCUSSION:
 The LCA for Baby Diapers identified five critical stages in which the majority of the
environmental impacts take place.
 We included the analysis of raw materials production to our system boundary, as
changes towards more sustainable options can be applied there.
 The major environmental indicators were identified in each stage of the LCA.
 The usage of baby diapers has not been taken into account in the analysis.
CONCLUSIONS

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT
 Use of bio based SAP.
 Further research on Fluff Pulp to reduce the amount
of petroleum derivatives
 Avoiding raw materials that come from
monocultures or which cultivation include the use
of pesticides
 Development of a reusable diaper
 Changing the top layer from PP to a biodegradable
plastic
 Reducing diaper size to reduce transportation
 Avoiding water losses in production
 Usage of even more efficient adhesives in the
manufacturing process
 Encouraging the use of biodegradable materials in
baby diaper
 Usage of renewable energy and fuels in Production,
Distribution and Disposal of baby diapers

Authors:
First name Surname
First name Surname
First name Surname
Anisiya Pavlova