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??!
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.
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.
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 ), 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.
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 sun) 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.
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 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.
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.
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.