Modern Cloth Nappies & The Environment
It is important to look at the whole life cycle of a nappy when assessing the environmental impact of cloth versus disposable nappies. This includes raw materials, manufacturing, transportation and waste effects. Studies have reported that it takes as much energy to produce one disposable as it does to wash a cloth nappy 200 times. In addition it is well accepted that disposables will take 500 years to decompose in landfill.
Something to consider is that if you used just 1 cloth nappy a day for the average 2 ½ years that your baby is in nappies you’ll save around 310kg of waste going into landfills!
The environmental impact of cloth nappies can be further minimized by changing the way you care for your cloth nappy. Drypailing, using energy efficient washing machines and drying nappies out in the sun all reduce the environmental footprint of your cloth nappies (and help to reduce your household costs!).
For more information about Modern Cloth Nappies / Reusable Nappies vs Disposables, check the following study and publication:
- An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies. By: Environment Agency UK, ISBN: 978-1-84432-927-4, © Environment Agency – October 2008.
- Cloth Nappies Make a Comback. This article was published by: Brisbane Times.com.au.