Environmental Impacts

The Truth About Disposable Nappies

Disposable nappies are polluting our Earth. Every year around 2 BILLION disposable nappies end up in landfill in Australia alone. The convenience of these nappies makes them appealing to tired and busy parents however many do not take into consideration the overall financial and environmental cost, nor the chemicals they are exposing their children to when using these nappies. It is estimated that most nappies contain between 30 to 48 chemical elements! According to the World health organisation, 2010 disposable nappies contain various chemicals that have been linked with long-term health conditions. Some of these chemicals include Dioxins which are listed by the EPA as a highly toxic chemical. Some of the known health implications due to exposure to Dioxins include issues with the immune system, reproductive issues and skin reactions.
Another chemical is Sodium Polycarbonate which is the gel-like absorptive substance in disposable nappies. This particular chemical is known to cause respiratory issues and skin reactions and according to the website Livestrong.com it was recently removed from tampons as it was linked to Toxic shock syndrome. These chemicals and many more are linked to awful health issues yet they are still used in the manufacturing process of disposables. Parents unknowingly put them against their baby's skin and later they pollute and seep into our Earth once disposed of!
Environmentally disposable nappies cause great issues due to their inability to degrade. Unfortunately every disposable nappy EVER manufactured is STILL in existence today. Billions and billions of plastic, chemical ridden nappies polluting our homes, landfills and waterways. 

 

Another environmental issue is the amount of water that is used to produce disposable nappies. According to Stephens Leahy in his book “Your water footprint, 2014”,  it is estimated that it takes approximately 545 liters of water to manufacture ONE disposable nappy. Now imagine that the average child goes through around 6000 nappy changes from birth until toilet training and calculate the overall consumption of water per child. It is shocking! 

 

So how can you make a difference? How can you insure that your family doesn't add to these statistics? REUSABLE NAPPIES!!! 

 

It is estimated that each child will require around 6,000 nappy changes from birth to toilet training. By using reusable cloth nappies you reduce the number of disposable nappies that end up in landfill and therefore help to reduce the overall impact on our environment all while saving money!

According to my calculations the financial outlay for disposable nappies is around $3,100 per child. For a full time bundle of cloth nappies the initial outlay is between $300 to $800 depending on the brand. Cloth nappies can be used across multiple children and for many years, until they fall apart at the seams and even taking into consideration the cost of energy and water used to clean them still make them more financially appealing then their disposable counterpart.

 

 

We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children". - Native American Proverb.

 

By using cloth nappies and reusable products you are making tomorrow more beautiful on Earth for future generations.

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