The Best Nappies for Less Expense Berkshire
The Best Nappies for Less Expense
Probably the best and most cost-effective nappies are shaped cloth nappies. Here are some reasons why cloth nappies may be both the most eco-friendly and pocket-friendly option - and why your baby may prefer them too!
Time was that if you wanted to use cloth nappies rather than disposables you would need to by a large stack of terry towelling squares, invest in a few large (sharp!) nappy pins and maybe buy a few simple liners and plastic wraps.
Other than a load of washing powder and plenty of determination, that was it!
Now it has become possible to use cloth nappies and get excellent nappies for less expense, knowing that your baby is not putting an undue strain on the earth's resources. Cloth nappies have moved on a whole dimension in the last twenty years. There is now a host of different products available and cloth nappies are becoming an ever-more practical alternative to disposables.
Nappies for less - the debate
The argument still rages about which type of nappy is the more environmentally friendly.
Obviously disposables contribute to landfill in a way which terries clearly don't. (Disposables currently contribute around 4% of all landfill in the UK, with more than 8 million disposables being thrown away daily!) But they are also an environmental bane because most of them will take hundreds and even thousands of years to bio-degrade. Add to that the bleaches and harmful chemicals which go into their manufacture and the balance tips towards reusable and recyclable cloth nappies.
Nappies for less: What are the environmental costs of cloth nappies?
In 2005 an influential report was produced by the UK Environment Agency which concluded that there was little difference between cloth and disposable nappies in their effects upon the environment. Many environmentalists and women's campaigning groups felt that it was a seriously misleading report.
However, as they pointed out in the report, the effects are actually very different. Disposables create pressure on landfill sites and generally they are not bio-degradable. Their manufacture involves many chemical processes. The bleaching of paper products for nappies contributes highly toxic dioxins and other nasties which then leach into water courses and disrupt wildlife.
The environmental hazards of using cloth nappies are almost entirely different. The main environmental load comes from the washing, drying and detergent used in cleaning. These hazards are far more under the control of the individuals using the products; detergents can be low phosphate ones - or even replaced by ; washing can be low temperature and drying can be mainly or partly air-drying inside or out. (Please see the page for more on this.) Even the volume of water used can be limited by using moder...