An updated Environment Agency report concludes that reusable nappies, used sensibly, reduce carbon emissions dramatically. The myth of “disposable and cloth nappies having the same environmental impact” has been well and truly busted.
An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies examines the environmental impacts of two systems. The report analyses the environmental impacts of a child using disposable nappies for the first two and half years of its life versus cloth nappies for the same period.
The aim of the study was to update a previous report on the environmental impacts of reusable nappy types compared with disposable nappies, using a 2006 data reference point.
It says that the average disposable nappy would result in “a global warming impact of approximately 550 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents used over the two and half years a child is typically in nappies”. In comparison, using re-useable nappies that had been eco-washed would result in a global warming impact of “some 200 kg of carbon dioxide equivalents over two and a half years”.
The amount of carbon emissions saved is around the same as the difference you could make by switching 140 reams of paper from new to recycled, or by switching your machine machine over to cold water for a year and a half. (sources: stopglobalwarming.org, livclean)
Just one more small way we can all reduce our contributions to human-made climate change. Spread the word.