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Huggies website stating that washables are NOT better for the environment than disposables?

(19 Posts)
chloejessmeg Thu 15-Jan-09 23:41:12

Hello. Huggies website has info saying that there is an equal level of negative effect on the environment for washables as there is disposables? Is this right?

LuckySalem Thu 15-Jan-09 23:42:22

I dunno but maybe if you include the washing of reusables perhaps it comes close.....?

ramonaquimby Thu 15-Jan-09 23:42:46

well of course they're going to say this, they sell disposable nappies hmm

lots of threads on this - original report was flawed (ie one assumption was that people tumble dried their cloth nappies)

Shitemum Thu 15-Jan-09 23:43:50

Even if you include the washing, water, detergent, electricity it is still better to use washables. Of course Huggies are going to state otherwise!

Sesthinks2009willbeagreatyear Thu 15-Jan-09 23:58:07

I know there is a brand of disposable nappies and wipes that are friendlier to the environment. I know most branches of Boots sell them. I think they break down quicker and contain fewer chemicals. These might overall be more environmentally friendly than washables??!

chloejessmeg Fri 16-Jan-09 00:08:01

But surely they are not allowed to put it on their website if it is complete bollocks?

bookthief Fri 16-Jan-09 00:09:20

IIRC, the report that came to the conclusion that there was nothing to choose between washables & disposables made some very odd assumptions about how you would wash and dry your nappies (boil washing, tumble drying, only having a few nappies so more frequent washes etc), and didn't take into account subsequent children/selling on etc etc.

VampiresWalkin Fri 16-Jan-09 07:51:26

In the most recent report a tiny % (when tumbled, ironed, bleached etc) shows cloth as being worse than disposables. The % of people using nappies sanely came up as much better for the environment.

However - it means that people like huggies are well within their rights to quote whichever part they like.

moondog Fri 16-Jan-09 07:55:03

Since when diod something being complete bollocks ever stop someone using it to flog their product? Formula companies are the worst at this and regulalry print stuff that is not only inaccurate but illegal.

They fail to take into account also that they can be used by lots of babies.Mine were used 4 times over and were still fine.

LazyLinePainterJane Fri 16-Jan-09 08:05:32

Aside from the fact that the report into washables was proved to be incorrect (I for one never wash about 2 nappies at a a time on 120 degrees hmm), the environmental impact is not the only benefit to washable nappies.

Huggies can put what they like on their website about the environment as a lot of people seem to have conflicting views, I don't really care. But they can't dent that washables are cheapy cheap in comparison to disposables. There's no getting around that. And that's something that matters to more people than being green.

LazyLinePainterJane Fri 16-Jan-09 08:06:35

deny.... not dent

MadamAnt Fri 16-Jan-09 08:06:45

I'd be interested to hear how these studies measure "effect on the environment". There are dozens of different factors, e.g. overall energy used, chemicals released, and landfill issues.

The negative effects of cloth nappies can IMO be much more easily overcome than those of disposable nappies.

e.g. - I never tumble dry my nappies, which reduces energy consumption

- I use minimal detergent, which reduces chemical releases (and folk who use soap nuts etc are producing even fewer chemicals)

- Increasing numbers of people have domestic renewable energy systems (solar panels, turbines etc) which means that their energy consumption has even less impact on the environment.

IMO it's much harder to get around the main problems with disposables. e.g. the nasty chemicals used in production, and dumping them in landfill.

belgo Fri 16-Jan-09 08:30:19

Some ways of making washable nappies even more environmentally friendly.

You don't need to soak nappies before washing.
Nappies can be washed at 30° or 40°, and make sure the washing machine is full to maximum capacity (add towels, sheets, whatever to the wash). If the nappies are still stained after washing, put them out in the sun (if you have some sunhmm)
Flat nappies dry more efficiently then bulky nappies. Paper liners can also be washed and reused. My washable nappies have been used for 4 babies and are only now becoming worn out.

You can use indian soap nuts to wash the nappies instead of detergent.

Use flannels to wash your baby's bottom rather then disposible wipes.

MadamAnt Fri 16-Jan-09 14:46:10

Yes yes the sun is a very good tip. In fact you don't even need proper sun, just daylight [living in Scotland emoticon]

AnnVan Fri 16-Jan-09 14:53:58

Agree it's complete bollocks, but they're probably usin the old, flawed report. No-one IRONS nappies surely? Yet the report assumed people do hmm
The new report concluded that cloth is better than dispos and STILL didn't take into account the landfill issue.
So even if washing them means that they're having an affect on the environment, for one DC in cloth that's 40 black sacks of rubbish less on the landfills. The environment is about more than energy consumption.

PoloPlayingMummy Fri 16-Jan-09 14:59:17

I think the way we use re-useables (frequent hot washes, tumble dried) doesn't make them much better environmentally than 'sposies but they are a damn sight better for my son's backside and there's no stinking heap of nappies from our house going into landfill.

SunshinePine Fri 16-Jan-09 17:06:46

It's called number fiddling. They can take any statistic and make it look like something else.

Not related but for an example If a question was asked "What do you think about more houses being built in your area?" and the results were
20% - it's a bad idea
70% - don't mind
10% - it's a good idea
people in favour of the houses could state (truthfully)that 80% of people had nothing against it, making it seem popular, in reality only 10% actually said they were for it.

I think there is going to be bias on both cloth and disposable sites because each want to sell their nappies.
There was a study that came out with disposables on top but it assumed that everyone irons nappies (WTF?) and that most people only wash a few nappies at a time, as well as using a tumble drier. Even then it ends up about the same considering the energy actually making the disposable. It also conveniently ignored the landfill impact of disposables, yes some are biodegradable - but huggies certainly aren't!

I don't know about others but I hang mine to dry and I have solar panels that make hot water even when it's cloudy. We're also looking at getting a small turbine to make electricity from the wind, after all there's no shortage of that generally in england.

BCLass Fri 16-Jan-09 21:18:05

Huggies = talking bollocks.

Updated study Oct 2008 summary
here

VampiresWalkin Fri 16-Jan-09 22:06:58

There is a tiny part of the 2008 study that makes it worse off - the times or summat did an article quoting that part(which DH's boss put on his desk for him shock)

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