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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

The Dirt on Diapers

Did you know…?

  1. In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency estimated 3.6 million tons of diapers went into landfills—that’s 1.4% of the total municipal solid wastegeneration that year

  2. A disposable diaper is comprised of wood pulp, plastics (including the super-absorbent materials now present in most diapers), and tissue paper

  3. As of the 2014 study, the EPA did not identify any significant recycling or composting options for disposable diapers[1]

  4. There is a disclaimer on disposable diaper packages that reads: “IMPORTANT: Shake baby soil into toilet.” How many of us do that?This raw sewage can contaminate our water supply and breed viruses and bacteria that are then spread to humans by insects.[2]

  5. Many disposable diapers have been bleached to make them white[3]

  6. It is impossible to know the number of years it takes for a single disposable diaper to decompose, but many sources estimate 500 years or more

What options does this leave for us that prefer the convenience of disposable diapers?

  1. Diaperful diapers are a disposable diaper made with naturally derived plant-based and sustainable materials. They’re hypoallergenic, chlorine and bleach free, organotin free, fragrance free, phthalate free, and gluten free.  And their ultra-absorbent bio-core can keep baby dry for up to 12 hours of leak protection.

  2. Thirsties diapers uses low impact reactive materials in their diapers that are better for the environment and baby’s skin (and reducing instances of diaper rash with high tech fleece liners!). Their packaging materials are reused and recycled, and even their mailers are 100% biodegradable.

  3. Honest Company diapers are 100% chlorine-free, use wood pulp from sustainably managed forests, have an absorbent bio-core of a wheat polymer blend, plant-based inner and outer layer, and naturally derived odor blockers from citrus and chlorophyll. Honest also partners with Baby2Baby to help provide diapers, clothing and basic necessities to low-income children across the US.


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