Whether you want to believe it or not a disposable nappy can take anything up to 500 years to decompose at a landfill and they make up a massive 4% of the waste currently being added to landfills here in Ireland.
I'm a fully converted cloth bum mum.I love everything from the cute prints, the savings and helping other parents as they make the leap into their cloth nappy journey. I love when a cloth related query pings in my inbox, it brings me some sort of weird joy.
Zero waste is trending more than ever right now across the world for various reason including single-use plastics and how they are destroying our oceans.
Whether you want to believe it or not a disposable nappy can take anything up to 500 years to decompose and they make up a massive 4% of the waste at landfills here in Ireland. That's an estimated 4,000 nappies per child costing an estimated €1,000 for parents until children are toilet trained.
If I had chosen to use disposable nappies on my three younger children I would have sent roughly 12,000 nappies to landfill over 4 years. That's some amount of disposables and a shit load of money. Instead, I opted for cloth, spending approximately €500 over three years on many different styles of reusable nappies and reusable wipes.
Disposable nappies use 3.5 times as much energy, 8 times as much non-renewable raw materials and 90 times as much renewable material than reusable nappies from manufacture to use. They also produce 2.3 times as much wastewater and 60 times as much solid waste than cloth nappies.
Environmental impacts of using reusable cloth nappies can be higher or lower than using disposables and that all depends on how they are laundered. It all comes down to consumers’ behaviour after purchasing cloth that determines the impact of reusable nappies on the environment.
To reduce the impact of cloth nappies on the environment users must:
- Use an A+ rated energy efficient washing machine.
- Never wash above 60°C.
- Always wash on fuller loads.
- Line dry outdoors as much as possible.
- Avoid using a tumble dryer.
- Reuse nappies on other children.
Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of 4 kids aged 2, 3, 5 and 9. Described as a self-confessed procrastinator and picker-upper of things, Kellie would never turn down a coffee, loves to travel and shares her every day true to life moments on Instagram.