There’s no getting around the fact that standard disposable nappies represent a huge environmental problem. Around 20 billion standard disposable nappies find their way into landfill around the world each and every year, meaning that the issue is just getting worse with the passage of time.
One of the main reasons why disposable nappies are so bad for the environment is that they’re often made from wood pulp and single use-plastics. These nappies require harmful resource-intensive manufacturing processes and millions of trees to be cut down to meet demand, causing untold damage to the planet.
A baby will typically get through around 7,000 disposable nappies during his or her young life, so it’s not difficult to quickly see what a big issue it is we’re talking about. The good news is that there are much more environmentally-friendly alternatives to disposable nappies on the market.
Most of them like Bambo Nature are made form plant based materials and sustainable practices. In addition to being better for the planet, they’re also kinder and less irritating to baby’s skin. That’s because biodegradable nappies does not contain harmful chemicals like chlorine, phthalates, fragrance and Dioxins that you’ll often find in standard disposables, when choosing any disposable nappy make sure that they don’t contain any of these ingredients as the are linked to a number of health risks including cancer.
As the name would suggest, this type of nappy is far more biodegradable, taking just 4 years to fully decompose. Biodegradable nappies allow as much as 85% more material to degrade than standard disposable nappies, representing a huge difference. When compared to the standard non-biodegradable nappy decomposition time of 200-500 years, the benefits to using them are quite compelling.
Another, much more eco-friendly and sustainable option is to use reusable nappies. These nappies are typically made out of fabric or natural materials like bamboo or cotton and are worn underneath a leak-proof outer layer. Once used, they can simply be emptied, washed and used again, eliminating the need to keep buying new ones again and again, year after year.
It wouldn’t be truthful to say that there is no carbon footprint attached with reusable nappies, as there’s energy used to wash them. However, when compared to the environmental catastrophe of disposables, the damage they cause is negligible.
Leaving a Legacy for Our Children
While no perfect solution exists to disposable nappies, those we’ve talked about here offer a far more sustainable alternative to sending millions of tons of non-degradable material to landfill each year. As well as being a personal choice for your own household, switching to a more natural, eco-friendly variety of nappy is a contribution to providing a lasting legacy for our children.
Every biodegradable nappy that you buy and every reusable nappy that you wash saves yet more toxic disposable nappy having to sit in landfill, decomposing for centuries. It might seem like a drop in the ocean, but if we all work together, we’ll be able to pass on a planet in much better shape in the years to come.
Food for thought, we think you’d agree.
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