Using disposable diapers, one child will consume : 4 to 5 trees, 25 kg of plastics (made out of 67 kg of oil). They will generate 1 ton of waste, take up to 500 years to decompose or produce dioxine when incinerated.
Cloth diapers use few raw material to be produced : 90 times less renewable material and 8.3 times less non renewable materials. They generate 60 times less waste and use 2 to 3 times less water than disposable as a large quantity of water is needed to produce the cellulose used in disposable diapers.
Cloth diapers users can reduce their environmental impacts by:
- Line drying outside whenever possible
- Tumble drying as little as possible
- When replacing appliances, choosing more energy efficient appliances (A+ rated machines according to the EU environmental rating are preferred)
- Not washing above 60 °C
- Washing fuller loads
- Reusing nappies on other children.
For more information, read the Life Cycle Assessment for disposable and cloth diapers report conducted by the UK Government in 2008.