How One Simple Ingredient Could Make Diapers Better for the Planet

Diapers aren't the most environmentally-friendly thing on Earth...but one pantry staple just may be the key to making them less harmful.

eco-friendly diapers  Zephyr Picture/Getty Images
Disposable diapers aren't just hard on your wallet, they can also be rough on the environment. Cloth diapers may present a more eco-friendly option, but some parents find that option doesn't work for them.

That's why this news could be such a huge breakthrough: U.S. startup Tethis has come up with a simple way to make the baby essential much less toxic for the Earth...and the key is probably something you have lying around your house.

According to Tethis co-founder Scott Bolin, corn starch, used in place of the typical petrochemical polymers, could make disposables more environmentally-friendly. If this pans out, the effect could be enormous: Disposable diapers reportedly account for about 20 percent of the waste materials found in landfills.

"The diaper industry has struggled to move to greener products," Bolin told CNN. "Right now, most diapers in the world use a petrochemical that comes out of an oil refinery. But what consumers want is a renewable diaper."

Bolin and his team have reportedly been working on this solution since 2012, and consumer trials have already proved effective. Tethis will begin production on the innovation this summer—according to CNN, the process of creating these diapers will involve placing a corn starch-based mixture through a machine that compresses the material, which eventually gets transformed into a powder. 

Will this represent the new frontier in diapers? Time will tell, but diaper brands have reportedly expressed interest in working with Tehtis's innovation. This just might be the green solution we've been seeking. Now if we could just find a way to make diapers more affordable...

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