Ontex Group NV continues to provide recyclable diapers to support Woosh, a startup that aims to make diaper recycling a reality in Belgium. The company helped launch the startup and continues to support it with products and expertise as it grows.
Woosh now delivers recyclable, disposable diapers and collects used diapers from more than 200-day care centers in Belgium with more than 5,200 children and plans to expand the service to more than 1,000-day care centers by 2024. Together with waste companies Woosh aims to set up the first diaper recycling facility in Belgium.
“At Ontex, we aim to reduce our environmental footprint throughout our value chain. Diaper waste is the critical point in the value chain that we need to address, including in our home country Belgium. That is why we helped to launch Woosh and support it”, said Joel Santos, Vice President, Strategy, Ontex.
“We have made it our mission to make diaper recycling possible by providing enough critical mass of used, recyclable diapers to recycling companies,” said Jeff Stubbe, co-founder of Woosh. “Our service to day care centers started in Mechelen and has since expanded to all 5 provinces of Belgium’s Flanders region.”
FIRST DIAPER RECYCLING SITE IN BELGIUM
The collection of used diapers is the first critical step in establishing the process for large-scale diaper recycling. Together with waste management partners willing to invest, Woosh wants to set up the first diaper recycling plant in Belgium. The diaper waste will be recycled into new raw materials. Until critical mass is reached the diapers will be collected and incinerated.
“We want to move from incineration to diaper recycling as quickly as possible and are working with several partners, including the government, to make this happen,” said Jeff Stubbe.
POSITIVE STEP TO REDUCING WASTE
“This project contributes to the ambitions to make Belgium and the Flanders region a recycling hub on a European and global level. In addition to asbestos waste and plastics, diaper waste is a priority for the Flanders Region,” said Jeff Stubbe.
“The response from day care centers has been positive. “Thanks to Woosh’s service, we always have a sufficient number of quality diapers and do not have to ask parents to bring their diapers. It’s also nice to be able to contribute, knowing that our used diapers are collected with the aim of recycling disposable diapers in Belgium,” said Romina, manager of the day care center De Engeltjes in the city of Oudenaarde.
Ontex collaborates with Woosh and other recycling companies to make its diapers more recyclable. Ontex supplies recyclable diapers from its Little Big Change subscription brand to Woosh, which handles distribution.
Through the project Ontex also aims to reduce its Scope 3 emissions by replacing incineration of used diapers with the reuse of raw materials. The company aims to be carbon-neutral (scope 1&2) by 2030 and has reduced its Scope 1 & 2 emissions by more than 40% between 2020 and last year.