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Man said disposable nappies should be banned

(211 Posts)
rainbowtoenails Sun 17-Jul-11 21:36:32

He was a friend of a friend so I bit my lip but I found it quite patronising for a man to be lecturing women on this. He has dcs but I dont think he's changed that many nappies. Easy, then for him to say disposables should be illegal. I tried reusables but it didnt work out for various reasons. I felt guilty about using disposables but they were very liberating. Im no fan of P&G but I think banning them would be a real step back for womens liberation.

StewieGriffinsMom Sun 17-Jul-11 21:50:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BornSicky Sun 17-Jul-11 21:54:48

i use reusable nappies and only use disposable when out for a long day or overnight (and they're 80% biodegrable ones).

I do think that disposables should be 100% biodegradable or banned.

It's got nothing to do with women's lib at all; it's just as easy to use reusable nappies and far cheaper.

celadon Sun 17-Jul-11 21:56:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SybilBeddows Sun 17-Jul-11 22:16:35

it would definitely impact more on women if they were banned, and hence would be a feminist issue, until such time as men do as much housework on average as women.

DaisyHayes Sun 17-Jul-11 22:26:02

I have to say that I've found lots of Guardian reading-La Fromagerie-frequenting-hessian bag using males be terribily keen on using half a lemon to clean the bath. They have all been in partnerships with women.

The men I know who clean their own baths are rather keener on the old Cillit Bang.

As someone who has scraped their fair share of shit off reusables (as well as chucked an equal number of disposables in the landfill) I'd be very susicious of someone who gets to swan off to an office everyday laying down edicts about how much time women should spend buggering about with buckets of soiled cloth nappies.

TeiTetua Sun 17-Jul-11 22:32:48

There are plenty of women among the environmentalists, you know. It's not totally fair to single out the men (of course one hopes that the eco-blokes are changing their share of nappies at home).

But there's a good debate to be had about the green issue anyway. When you consider the effect of making the cloth nappies, washing them in hot water and detergent every time they're used and (maybe) drying them in a gas/electric dryer and eventually dumping them, they have a cost too, and it might be up there with the disposables.

BornSicky Sun 17-Jul-11 22:36:00


Not true.

"Real nappies can be up to 40% better for the environment than disposables. This was the finding from the 2008 update to the Environment Agency’s Life Cycle Analysis Report on nappies. Unlike disposables, Real Nappies put parents in control of the impact they have on the environment, with the carbon savings directly related to how you choose to wash your Real Nappies.

What is a ‘Life Cycle Analysis’?

A Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) is a study which shows the impact of something across its entire life – from the production of the raw materials to the disposal of the finished item. The Environment Agency first commissioned a LCA for nappies in 2004 and the report was published in 2005 to much criticism as it made very broad and sometimes incorrect assumptions about Real Nappy use. The updated study was published in 2008 and showed that, used responsibly; Real Nappies can be 40% better for the environment than disposable nappies. Follow our simple guidelines to help cut your carbon footprint

Real Nappies and Waste

Using Real Nappies is an action that can be placed at the very top of the waste hierarchy as it helps you reduce the waste that you are creating in the first place and also means that you are reusing an item again and again. Consequently Real Nappies have next to no impact on landfill sites as opposed to the 3 billion disposable nappies that are thrown away each and every year in the UK, 90% of these are landfilled. A baby in disposables will need about 4,000 nappy changes in total, that’s 4,000 disposable nappies in a landfill site, or 24 Real Nappies hanging on your washing line!"

*That's from*

IamtheSnorkMaiden Sun 17-Jul-11 22:46:46

Loads more could be done to make them more eco/environmentally friendly. I don't want to be filling up landfill space in the name of women's lib.

I use both sposies and cloth, depending on which is most convenient for me, but always feel a pang of guilt when the disposable nappy goes into the bin.

snicker Sun 17-Jul-11 22:51:44

I don't think there is a good debate to be had on the green issue. The pro disposable 'studies' assume bleached cotton nappies, washed daily at 90C with bucketloads of detergent and softener, tumble dried and ironed and fully replaced every 6 months, the old ones going to landfill rather than being passed on until they aren't even suitable as floor clothes and then chucked on the compost heap.

There should be stricter regs on environmental impact imo, without it just being lip-service by claiming a biodegradability that doesn't exist in an anaerobic landfill. There is an argument that biodegradable nappies are actually worse than regular disposables due to higher water usage during production and higher pollutants due to transportation as they are bulkier. I don't know if there is any truth in it.

The only people who should have a say in what nappies a person uses is the person doing the nappy changes. Its easy for me to use reusables. I had enough capital to buy them when I had my first dc, I have a washing machine and a big garden, no tumble drier but a utility room they can hang in when its wet, plus a bathroom that nobody uses that I keep the stinky ones in until I need to wash them. It would be rather unreasonable for me to insist that working parents with limited drying space and time use my chosen nappies.

DaisyHayes Sun 17-Jul-11 22:53:57

No-one is saying that there is no environmental gain in using reusables.

My DH has done his share of the drudgework in having small children (he is now primary caretaker) and I have no issue with him voicing a preference for reusables on environmental grounds. I bloody would do if he left the house before they woke up and came home after they were in bed.

TeiTetua Sun 17-Jul-11 22:55:25

OK, I don't know the details well. There's the landfill of course, but what about the costs of obtaining, heating and disposing of water? They don't mention that at all. I think that's basically a one-sided source of information.

But anyway, the OP's friend-of-friend may be obnoxious, but you say he was right, then?

SinicalSal Sun 17-Jul-11 22:55:52

let him use reuables - him, not his wife.

suzikettles Sun 17-Jul-11 23:00:31

Ideally we'd go back to using disposables in the way they were when first introduced - for convenience when reusables are less practical, eg holidays, long journeys etc.

But it's ridiculous to talk about banning them.

I'm not terribly fussed that it was a man saying this as long as he'd thought about the practicalities of what he was talking about. I doubt it though.

HerBeX Sun 17-Jul-11 23:20:26

I absolutely agree with him, so long as we introduce the rule that fathers should do all the laundry for all nappies in the first year, seeing as how mothers are busy breastfeeding and/ or recovering from birth. After that time, he would have to do at least 50% of the nappy laundering. Any father not obeying that rule, would have to be sent to prison for ten years, where he would be allocated to laundry duties. Washing the smalls of screws and murderers.

Sounds like a fun social occasion you had there, rainbowtoenails.

MrMan Sun 17-Jul-11 23:28:16

I take care of the rubbish in my house. Is it patronizing for my DW to give opinions on the virtues of recycling?
I drive more than DW and take care of the car maintenance. Is it patronizing for her to talk about eco-friendly cars?

HerBeX Sun 17-Jul-11 23:42:36

Taking out the rubbish and doing car maintenance is not like cleaning up shit.

Try it. Then say it's the same. I'd rather do either of the two things you mentioned. Added to which, both of the jobs you mention happen only weekly while scraping and cleaning up a baby's shit happens 3 or 4 times a day (or is it more? I've blocked it out....)

rainbowtoenails Sun 17-Jul-11 23:48:07

The difference being that lots of people like driving. No one likes changing nappies.
If you take the eco arguement further and say that its more i+portant than female liberation then why not just ban women from driving and flying t9o?

80sMum Mon 18-Jul-11 00:02:53

I can see that disposables are very convenient, but I don't like the thought of millions of tonnnes of nappies (not to mention millions of tonnes of poo!) being sent to landfill. My understanding is that nappies take a very long time to beak down in the environment, so presumably our landfills are filling up with them!

MsPlaced Mon 18-Jul-11 00:27:43

how the fuck can you say its as easy to use reusable nappies as disposable? It is in its arse. Disposable: buy, use, throw away. Reusable: all that washing and drying, its not easy at all.

verax Mon 18-Jul-11 00:34:17

The disposable vs reuseable debate is an environmental one rather one of parenting IMO. It is fairly widely accepted that reuseable nappies are better for the environment than disposable ones so I don't see the problem with this statement.

MumblingRagDoll Mon 18-Jul-11 00:39:32

He can comment. Just as we can comment on the environmental impact of war. Which after all is a male dominated business.

rainbowtoenails Mon 18-Jul-11 00:41:28

Almost everything which liberates us in the west in the 21st c is bad for the environment. Why is it only the things which liberate women which are being called to be banned?

verax Mon 18-Jul-11 00:42:56

I don't really see the connection between disposable vs reuseable nappies environmental impact and the environmental impact of war. Both are damaging to the environment but in very different ways

TillyIpswitch Mon 18-Jul-11 02:40:23

" it's just as easy to use reusable nappies and far cheaper."

How can you say it's just as easy? Once a re-usable nappy has been dirtied, it has to be cleaned and dried. Once a disposable nappy has been dirtied, it is thrown away. One is obviously far easier to use than the other.

" The disposable vs reuseable debate is an environmental one rather one of parenting IMO. "

Sadly 'the environment' doesn't get involved in nappy changes, especially late night ones. And definitely does not get involved in washing, cleaning and drying nappies... grin

Therefore, it is most definitely IS a parenting issue, as well as an environmental one. It is fine and easy to pontificate on the benefits of one type of nappy over the other, when you're not the one who does the dirty work. If the OP's friend does at least 50% of the changing and cleaning, then fine, he can have an opinion on it. wink

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