Jellyfish populations around the world are on the rise, driven by rising ocean temperatures, increasing acidity, and overfishing.
But a start-up company in Israel has found a way to harness these booming jellyfish populations, using them to create biodegradable diapers and feminine hygiene products, The Guardian reported. The company, Cine’al, was created by University of Tel Aviv scientist Shachar Richter, who discovered that the flesh of jellyfish can absorb large quantities of liquids. By breaking down jellyfish bodies and adding antibacterial nanoparticles, Richter and his company have created a super-absorbent material they call “hydromash” that can be used in medical bandages, tampons, pads, and diapers. Americans currently throw away an estimated 40 million diapers every day, each of which can take years or decades to break down in landfill. The hydromash material takes only 30 days to biodegrade, the company says. Cine’al plans to have products ready for market in the next 18 months, according to The Guardian.