Nappies, most parents would agree their a blessing, and a great hand in helping parents care for their newborns, but what effect are used nappies having on the environment? Is it good, or are they just causing a bad smell?
Mums and Dads go a long way to make sure their new bundles of joy are comfortable and happy, of course it’s part of being a parent. However the modern parent is increasingly more concerned today about their child’s future, the deteriorating environment we live in is forcing all parents to ask ‘what will my child’s future world be like?’
Disposable Nappies-The Facts
Did you know that the average child needs a nappy change four times a day? The same child will need 146.5kg of nappies in just two and a half years, this means one child will get through between 3,800 and 6,000 nappies before they are even potty trained, generating a cost of anywhere up to £720.
Disposable nappies produce around 2-4% of household rubbish, this equates to 400,000 tonnes of rubbish a year. In 2001/2002 nappy manufacturers were encouraged to reduce environmental impact of disposable nappies through developing their product designs, however it seems as though according to the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association (EDANA), this has not progressed far enough to alter the effects on the environment and developers today have only been able to reduce their impact by 13.5%.
Add to this that the environmental impact of nappies does not just stop at over flowing landfills, nappies while sitting in landfills release leachate into the soil and large quantities of gas. It is expected that if all children wore disposable nappies then each child would produces 550kg of carbon dioxide before their third birthday. In the UK this equates to a staggering 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. These figures are shocking, I’m sure you will agree, especially when it is also considered that only 18% of nappies actually have feces in them, according to an Environmental Agency Report released in 2008.
But its not complete doom and gloom, reusable nappies are fast becoming significant contenders in the baby care world, even a lot of busy celebrity mums have opted for them, despite their demanding schedules, indicating that stigmas of needing advanced origami skills in putting the nappies together as false.
Reusable nappies can be up to 40% better for the environment than disposable nappies. So, could reusable nappies be the answer to help minimise the damaging effects on our children’s future environment? Facts and figures show that reusable nappies, if used correctly can not only reduce environmental damage, but they also reduce household costs.
Each nappy can be purchased from anywhere between £5-£15, and a typical baby will need around 24 reusable nappies until they are potty trained, this includes the larger sizes a parent would have to purchase as their child develops. Typically a new born goes through three different sizes of nappy before being potty trained. Reusable nappies would therefore generate a cost of around £360 in the child’s nappy lifetime, while disposable nappies can cost up to £720.
Reusable nappies have today moved a great way up from their towel counterparts, today parents can find several types, all easy to use and have long done away with pins in favor of Velcro straps or popper, making them far less tricky.
Reusable nappies also come in various fabrics, colours and styles. They can even be made to order, to have bespoke concepts, from quirky designs, fun colour schemes, names on nappies-ideal in adding adornment to having twins, to even football team and Disney character design concepts. The nappies can even be paired up with other items of clothing, such as leggings, t-shirts and even matching dresses.
The different nappy system usually falls within one of the three categories
1. All in ones: designed for ease of use, these reusable little numbers are the fitted range, no folding or pinning is required as the nappies come with velcro or popper fastenings and a waterproof cover.
2. Shaped: these nappies are similar to the all in ones, except they do not come with the wraps or pants, needed to hold the nappy up and to avert leakage.
3. Prefolds: this range of nappies require the folding techniques most parents dread, they also require separate wraps or pants and in some cases fasteners may need to be applied
Reusable nappies are ideal for stay at home mums, especially those that work from home. To make things even better, local authorities and partners have come together in the UK to offer families a laundry service. Between £6-£11 per week can mean hassle free access to a continuous fresh supply of nappies. Currently there are eight launderette services making this facility available across the UK. And if you’re thinking about trialing the products first or would like to find out where to get hold of free samples then check out Go Real at goreal.org.uk. The website also gives information on laundry services, information on how to get up to £50 in voucher support and details on cash back schemes available in the UK to help support parents financially. Hold onto your receipts if your thinking about the cash back option! Supporting organizations and Local Authorities make all this happen and in most cases they will often offer cash back facilities, even on second hand reusable nappies.
So to conclude, disposable nappies are making a stink, filling our already over full landfills and contributing to climate change as they decompose (often over 100 if not 1,000 of years).
However there is a real alternative which is Reusable nappies, they have a much smaller impact on the planet, can be passed on to friends and family’s little ones and are very easy to put on and can even be super stylish! So what are you waiting for, check out our ethical nappies sellers in Eco Market