- At Bubba West, we are always interested in environmentally friendly baby products, so we were pretty interested to discover that we might soon be able to buy super absorbent, quick bio-degrading nappies made out of jellyfish!
Its rather alarming that nappies take 500 years to biodegrade, especially when, according to National Geographic, each baby goes through an average of 3796 nappies in his or her lifetime, contributing to the one-third of all landfill consisting of used nappies. So, like many parents, I’ve experimented with the often pricey biodegradable brands, as well as old-fashioned and reusable nappies, complete with disposable liners and padding inserts. When you consider the water and detergent required to wash them, the environmental benefit is questionable.
But Israeli nanotechnology company Cine’al Ltd is really thinking outside the box with this new plan to create an absorbent material from the bodies of jellyfish. They are working on technology that will be useful in nappies, as well as other absorbent products like paper towels, tampons and medical sponges.
Currently, the absorbent material found in nappies products is synthetic, and takes hundreds of years to break down naturally in the environment. The bodies of jellyfish are 90 per cent water, and their structure is such that they can absorb a high volume of liquid without disintegrating or dissolving. ‘Hydromash’ is the dry, flexible material that can be created from jellyfish. It is far more absorbent than many paper towel brands on the market, and bio-degrades in less than 30 days.
Even better, Hydromash is receptive to useful additives such as anti-bacterial products, colours and scents, making it very attractive in a commercial sense.
Using jellyfish might sound like an odd solution to the landfill problem, but apparently Israeli beaches have long suffered from hoards of jellyfish, which, it has been suggested, are approaching plague proportions. Masses of jellyfish have also been known to infest fish farms, and clog up the cooling systems of nuclear power plants.
Cine’al Ltd is attempting to kill two birds with one stone – reducing nappy landfill and jellyfish numbers. If the price is right, and the product works, I would be quite happy to use jellyfish items, including nappies. Unfortunately, I have a sneaking suspicion that my child will be well and truly toilet trained by the time these hit shelves in Australia, but it is certainly nice to know that science is tackling the issue, and in fascinating ways!
Do you use reusable or disposable nappies? Would you put your child in nappies made from jellyfish? Let us know your thoughts.References: www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-tech-turns-jellyfish-into-paper-towels/ www.greencontributor.com/index.php/human-foot-print.html