In an attempt to solve two environmental problems at once, researchers at the University of Kitakyushu in Japan have found that shredded nappies can be used to replace between 9 and 40% of the sand used in making concrete without reducing its strength1. Disposable nappies are a growing source of non-recyclable waste, and cement production is responsible for almost 7% of global greenhouse-gas emissions and consumes around 50 billion tonnes of sand each year.

The nappy-infused concrete was used to build a small house in Indonesia, to demonstrate how this type of waste could be diverted from landfills to build more affordable housing in low- and middle-income communities.

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