Systems and risk analysis of end-of-life options for hygiene products

Recruiting now!

Applicants with skills/experience in life cycle analysis, chemical engineering or environmental engineering are encouraged to apply.

Academic Leads:  Professor William Clarke and Associate Professor Paul Jensen

The University of Queensland

Sustainabilty of end-of-life options for hygiene products will be examined, with a focus on end-of-life options. The project will consider options for all the materials and additives in a hygiene product. Rankings will be based on quantitative methods, such as life cycle assessment.

The scope will include:

  • Current end-of-life routes such as the Nappy Loop (separation and recycling of nondegradable plastic and anaerobic digestion of the remaining components)
  • End-of-life options for fully biodegradable hygiene products.

The risk of leakages (litter) and failure (off-specification biodegradation performance) will be included in the analysis. The analysis will include the impacts and costs of establishing a new end-of-life route for hygiene products (e.g., new infrastructure; cost of separate collection).

The project may include some laboratory biodegradation tests or toxicity assessments on residues to complete the data required for their sustainability assessments.

This project is developed in partnership with Kimberly-Clark to advance the technology to continue to reduce our environmental footprint and create more sustainable products.