If you read this story in the paper or caught the coverage on morning television or radio, those reporting it would have you believe this new research on the environmental impact of cloth and single use nappies is groundbreaking.
Or is it?
The findings of the four year study done by the UK Environment Agency (UK) were released in May 2005. The official publication was widely discussed at the time on Ozclothnappies and the report was considered flawed owing to poor quality data and it’s failure to account for advances in washing methods and new products like hemp and bamboo nappies.
If any Australian media had bothered to check the transcript here they would have seen quite clearly stated:
“In May 2005, the Environment Agency published a report entitled “A Life Cycle Assessment of disposable and reusable nappies in the UK”.
Not only one media outlet reported the misrepresentation, but the error was repeated on no less than one website, by one daily newspaper, two metropolitan radio stations and one morning breakfast program on national television.
While it’s easy to expose lazy reporting, it’s very disappointing the misleading and false claims of the study are again reverberating through the media.