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Molly Geoghegan

August 2, 2020

Disposable verses reusable nappies - what are your best options?

Disposable verses reusable nappies – what are your best options?

Molly Geoghegan

August 2, 2020

Nappies are a nasty business for both our nostrils and nature. ‘Not only is there concern about the plastic used in disposable diapers biodegrading in landfills, there is also concern about the safety of throwing away human waste.’ (Vox 2019) So how does an eco-conscious parent deal with poo??

The cloth versus disposable nappy debate has been an ongoing conversation for years. The average baby will get through an eye-watering 6,000 nappies by the time they get to potty-training age. (Wrap.org UK) Holy sh*t.

Not only does this massive amount of waste take up to 500 years to degrade, but it produces methane and other toxic gasses in the process. In the US alone, up to 200,000 trees are lost each year to produce disposable nappies. (PR Newswire 2016)

Cloth Vs disposable

The average baby will get through an eye-watering 6,000 nappies by the time they get to potty-training age. (Wrap.org UK) Holy shit. Not only does this massive amount of waste take up to 500 years to degrade, but it produces methane and other toxic gasses in the process. 

These staggering numbers are the reason there has been a resurgence in the popularity of cloth nappies. Investing in cloth nappies might cost more upfront but has been shown to save $900 USD (about €760) each year over the course of your child’s happy nappy years. (PR Newswire 2016)

While cloth nappies reduce plastic waste, they do require more washing. To combat more washing, things like compostable and bamboo liners have become standard in the sustainable nappy space. This means you don’t have to wash as frequently and can simply throw liners into your compost bin. 

Cloth diapers will always use more water than disposables, but they also offer more opportunities to decrease overall environmental impact—by using more efficient washers, and cleaner soaps and power sources.

However, like any decision regarding your family, there is no ‘right’ way to do something. 

If you’re on the fence about making the switch to, Ireland’s lovely parent community is here to connect you with the Cloth Nappy library, which sets you up on temporary loans for free to give it a trial run. Have a chat with fellow parents at the Cloth Nappy Facebook page too! 

Other cloth nappy brands to check out: