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Real Nappies aren't worth the hassle??

(229 Posts)
Magscat Thu 19-May-05 07:13:40

This was on the BBC news this morning.

As a cotton nappy devotee I can't believe they are saying that disposables are not much worse than cotton - just doesn't make sense.

Any other thoughts

Magscat Thu 19-May-05 07:16:59

THey've just said this is going to be a feature on BBC News at 7.40am.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 19-May-05 07:18:35

I've been saying this for years...

Magscat Thu 19-May-05 07:24:28

I can understand that there is a negative effect on the environment if you don't use eco-freindly washing products and the most energy efficient washer you can afford (& wash every day) but surely people buying cotton have thought about this and take other steps to minimise environmental impact and therefore the combined effect means cotton = less harmful?

Plus, IME, cotton = no nappy rash & quicker potty training (& LOADS cheaper) - but I accept the report's not about those issues.

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 07:45:50

I think there were too many varaibles to consider with washables so the took a very small subset (terry nappies). It seems to point to the fact if you use a tumble drier then the energy you use cancels out the impact on the environment compared to disposables.

I guess with washables it all comes down to how you wash and dry - but at least you know you are not filling up huge bags of extra rubbish each week.

And I guess if we ever figure out how to get "environmentally friendly" energy then cloth nappies will suddenly become much more environmentally friendly.

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 07:48:12

actually I think nappy rash is more to do with the child than the nbappy. All 3 of mine suffered badly at teething time and switching from cloth to disposable or back again made absolutely no difference.


And potty training also was not quick with my DS1 (haven't got there yet with DS2&3) - again more to do with child than nappy I think.

Still I am a happy cloth user.

welshmum Thu 19-May-05 07:49:19

Dh has always said this - he used to work for a cloth nappy delivery service and saw the amount of energy used in the commercial launderies to wash them.

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 07:53:03

I would think the cloth nappy delivery service is probably the least efficient in terms of energy, when you take in to account the pick up and delivery as well as the washing and drying. I always thought it was a bit of a cop out, and wouldn't have wanted to keep used nappies for a week waiting pickup (not that it was an option in my area).

flamesparrow Thu 19-May-05 08:07:44

Nappy rash is definately to do with the child - true nappy rash is caused by the bacteria of the poo mixing with the wee... some children react much more violently to it (my DD needed changing instantly, or she would get huge weeping sores type rash - in cloth and disposable).

For me, cloth wasn't about the environment. I wasn't thinking about landfils or anything, I was thinking that I wanted to KNOW what I was putting on my baby's bum. I have no idea what chemicals they put in the gel of disposables, and seeing the crystals on her bum seemed very wrong to me.

Laura032004 Thu 19-May-05 08:14:22

Does anybody know where you can find details of the original report? I can't find it on the environment agency website.

I'm a bit mad that there is no link the the WEN website on the BBC website - just one to a website funded by disposable manufacturers.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 19-May-05 08:16:10

It's www.wen.org.uk/

Laura032004 Thu 19-May-05 08:18:19

I can't believe this research is correct. We have a good washing machine, only do full loads of washing, use reusable liners (and nappy bags and wipes too if poss - wonder if this was taken into acct?), only tumble for 10 mins etc etc. I'd love to see what the 'standard' resuable user that they used for the survey is like. Aaaarrrgghh very mad about all the hard work that this report will undo!

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 08:26:52

apparently they just looked at people who used flat terries, and those that used nappy laundering services.

I am assuming the nappy laundering pushes the balance down a lot because there much be a huge amount of energy costs assoicated with that.

Neither of those profiles particularly fit the cloth nappy users I know.

I guess the big problem may be if you tumble dry for an hour or more.

Ameriscot2005 Thu 19-May-05 08:28:41

Which do you think are better for the environment, flat terries or "modern" cloth nappies?

triceratops Thu 19-May-05 08:29:18

This report was about terrys and I am sure that the use of modern fleece nappies would fair better in comparison.

I used disposables because my life was difficult enough when ds was a baby and my dh is germ phobic enough to not want cr*p in the washing machine any more than is strictly necessary. I still think modern reusables are cute though, and they do save you money.

hub2dee Thu 19-May-05 08:30:25

I had a good look around the EA Web site and this report is not listed there.

I called up the EA hepline and spoke to a helpful person who advised they'd heard the report mentioned this AM on the telly as they left home, had found the BBC page, but could confirm they knew nothing about the report ! They thought a Press Release / link etc. might be posted in their News section later today or tomorrow.

Should make for interesting reading.

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 08:37:24

my gut feeling is terries are best - because they take less effort to make (and therefore less energy). They also dry much more quickly (so if you are going to tumble dry....).

However, I used shaped nappies because they suit me better.

This debate is a bit tricky to understand because you are sort of comparing apples and pears. The main problem with dispobles are probably landfill and initial resources (including energy/water), whereas with cloth it more the energy and water used in the ongoing washing (given that resources used for the inital production is a small proportion in the lifetime of the nappy).

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 08:38:13

just to clarify - I use the cloth nappies on my kids not me

hub2dee Thu 19-May-05 08:40:45

Oh, and you can't polish a car with an old disposable.

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 08:47:16

hmm - well you could, but I don't think it would help much

throckenholt Thu 19-May-05 08:47:34

especially not if it had been used .....

oliveoil Thu 19-May-05 08:57:36

Pampers fan here, booooooo hisssssssssssssss.

This thread could turn into a fight, think I might drag the sofa over from the Advertising thread and settle in.

sweetkitty Thu 19-May-05 08:59:24

I'm a recently convert to cloth and it's working out great. For me it was comfort for DD, what would you rather have next to your bum, a scratchy paper pampers or a lovely soft fleece. And not seeing the bin full of orange plastic nappy bags is a bonus too.

I can understand why nappy laundering services would be more expensive and less environmentally friendly. I wash every second day and line/air dry.

flamesparrow Thu 19-May-05 08:59:59

Can I add in reusable/disposable sanitary towels etc to see if we can get more things being thrown??

misdee Thu 19-May-05 09:00:19

mooncups anyone?

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