Are disposable nappies really so terrible for the environment?

Disposable nappies have been named as the latest plastic good we should ban, but there are problems with compostable and reusable alternatives too

gDaipers nappies

Some nappies, such as these gDiapers, have compostable parts

gDiapers

A FRESH stink is being kicked up over the use of nappies. Last month, UK environment secretary Michael Gove ignited controversy by hinting at a crackdown on disposable nappies. Environmentalists welcomed the idea, but time-poor parents baulked at the prospect of having to wash piles of cloth substitutes.

Despite feeling soft, the surface layer of disposable nappies is just one of many plastic components. These nappies generate 4 million tonnes of waste a year in the US alone, with each child typically getting through 4000 to 6000 of them. …

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