The Poop on Eco-Friendly Diapers

Whether cloth or disposable, Huggies or Pampers, any diaper is a hazard


| April 29, 2004


Whole Foods may sell fair-trade coffee and potatoes that you can be sure are not gene-spliced, but when it comes to diapers, your baby presents an environmental hazard no matter what you buy. 'Diapering is arguably the most important decision parents could make for the environment and their young children, who are in diapers around the clock for upward of two years,' Elisa Batista writes for Wired News. But, contrary to popular belief, biodegradable disposable diapers 'aren't much better for the environment or the health of her baby than the Huggies and Pampers piled up in landfills.'

John A. Shiffert, executive director of the National Association of Diaper Services, reports the sobering facts: the average baby goes through 5,000 diapers before being potty-trained, and most of those are disposable diapers that end up in landfills. These diapers made up 2.1 percent of all garbage in the United States in 1998, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. And they don't break down in airtight landfills -- not even biodegradable ones. 'Environmentally [biodegradable] diapers require as much water, energy, and fuel to produce as any other single-use diaper,' according to the latest newsletter from the cloth diaper service Tiny Tots. 'The bottom line is they offer no environmental or health benefits.'

One reason for young parents to sleep sounder at night, however, is the guarantee that neither cloth nor disposable diapers will harm their babies. Despite the mini-scare campaign launched by cloth diaper services and some researchers, 'there is no evidence that sufficient traces of the chemicals remain on the [disposable] diapers to harm babies.'
-- Jacob Wheeler

Go there>>The Poop on Eco-Friendly Diapers

Related Links:

Related Links from the Utne Archive:






Pay Now Save $5!

Utne Summer 2016Want to gain a fresh perspective? Read stories that matter? Feel optimistic about the future? It's all here! Utne Reader offers provocative writing from diverse perspectives, insightful analysis of art and media, down-to-earth news and in-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.

Save Even More Money By Paying NOW!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Utne Reader for only $31.00 (USA only).

Or Bill Me Later and pay just $36 for 4 issues of Utne Reader!




Facebook Instagram Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265