Thursday, March 1, 2012

Disposable Nappies... Why I don't like them

That picture above is the amount of nappies a child uses from birth till potty training... rather thought provoking isn't it?

The photo on the left is what disposables look like in landfill.

This is not the only reason I do not like disposable nappies, there is numerous reasons. For one I have noticed they have a weird smell. Another is the chemicals in them.  And the other is people presume ALL expectant parents need a  truck load of disposables thrown at them before and after a baby is born. Ahh, yes what every parent needs to be buried alive in disposable nappies...

Dr Momma did a great article on what exactly is in disposable nappies.  And yes before anyone comments about how I am an evil disposable hating person, I have used disposables for all my children at some stage or another. I did not discover cloth till my oldest was 9 months old (so there is a whole 9 months of pure disposable use right there).

There are the compostable kind of disposables, which i think is a great step forward.

The Photo on the left is of the Moltex brand compostable disposable in varying stages of decomposing.

The Above picture is so true, I have had 3 in nappies all at once and i am glad they were in cloth the price for disposables would have been insanely high.  For more info on the costs of nappies check out this link. and also this link .

The pic above is of  regular disposable nappy with a Weenee compostable insert on either side to demonstrate the various stages of demcomposing.

1.375 Billion disposable nappies used annually in Australia and New Zealand1
3.75 Million disposable nappies dumped every single day in these 2 nations alone1.
3 Million trees felled every year to make disposable nappies for Australia / New Zealand1.
100 intestinal viruses leach from untreated human waste at rubbish dumops, contaminating ground water at land fill and creating risks to sanitation workers.
50% of total household waste will be disposable nappies, in a household with 1 baby using disposable nappies full time1
7 times better for the environment, reusable nappies compared to one use nappies4
2 Tonnes of landfill created by each baby in disposable nappies full time1.
1 degree hotter the average temperature of a boy's testicles in a disposable nappy - possibly related to increases in infertility and testicular cancer of the last 25 years2.  source link

This quote is about the decomposing rate of various things:
  * Banana peel, 2 – 10 days
    * Cotton rags, 1 – 5 months
    * Sugarcane Pulp Products, 30 - 60 days
    * Paper, 2 – 5 months
    * Rope, 3 – 14 months
    * Orange peels, 6 months
    * Wool socks, 1 – 5 years
    * Cigarette filters, 1 – 12 years
    * Tetrapaks (plastic composite milk cartons), 5 years
    * Plastic bags, 10 – 20 years
    * Leather shoes, 25 – 40 years
    * Nylon fabric, 30 – 40 years
    * Plastic six-pack holder rings, 450 years
    * Diapers and sanitary napkins 500 – 800 years
    * Tin cans 50 - 100 years
    * Aluminum cans 80 - 100 years
    * Plastic Bottles Forever
    * Styrofoam cup, non-biodegradeable
Source link

Ever wondered how Disposables are made? check out this link.  check out this link from Real Diapers Association

A few reasons why cloth is an option.
Huggies statement on their nappies impact on the enviroment they claim disposables only make up 1% of landfill. 

The great Disposable Debate points out its illegal in many areas to have feaces in disposables and put them in the bin.

The Poop on eco friendly diapers points out some eco disposables may not be as eco friendly as they make out.
The real Cost of Disposables compares energy useage for each type (cloth and disposable)

What are the alternatives, you ask? well you could try the eco friendly brands and compost the inner bits. Or Try Cloth Nappies. Or try EC (Elimination Communication) and forgo the use of nappies all together.

Picture above (source): is of Cloth nappies drying I love seeing cloth nappies on the line.

Some Old Cloth and EC family Photos:

Above: Tyson Christmas 2008 wearing a Bubblebubs All in one Cloth nappy 
Above: Cody wearing a Cushie Tushie Cloth Nappy and Tyson wearing a Berry Plush cloth Nappy in 2008.

Above: Some of my stash when i had 3 in cloth in 2008.

Above: Charlie as a newborn in 2008, wearing a Baby Beehinds Magicall All in One nappy.

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