Disposable vs. Cloth Nappies

It’s an ongoing debate.  The choice between disposable and cloth nappies has generally been based on convenience.  If you’re out and about and have to change a nappy, you can just throw it in the bin and be done with it.  But that’s the problem isn’t it.  If everyone does this, then imagine how many dirty nappies are being disposed of every day or year. 

It used to be that cloths nappies were ill-fitting and didn’t absorb well.  It was so much easier to buy disposable nappies, use them and throw them out, and not have to wash them.  Why would you choose to use cloth?  Here’s why:


Disposable Nappies 

Did you know that a nappy can last anywhere from 200-500 years in a landfill.   Can you imagine?  And did you know, about 3.75 million nappies are used in Australia and New Zealand daily.  That’s almost 800 million in Australian landfills per year. 

Over time, disposable nappies cost more and the manufacturing of disposable nappies uses a lot of water and energy.  It takes about 1 cup of crude oil to make each nappy and it has been said to be the third biggest contributor to littering (globally).  People leave them in car parks and throw them out the window, not wanting a smelly nappy in the car.


Modern Cloth Nappies 

Modern cloth nappies are not what they used to be, they’re so much better.  Now there are several different kinds and shapes of cloth nappy.  There’s a type to suit your every need; from original terry square flats to prefolds or fitted nappies (eliminating the need to fold up a nappy before putting it on your baby). There are also pocket style cloth nappies with leak proof shells where the inserts can be removed and washed.  Or an All-in-One cloth nappy where the absorbent insert is sewn inside a water-proof outer shell.  

Cloth nappies commonly use Velcro or snaps to secure them closed so there’s no need for those big pins anymore. And absorbency is greatly improved as there’s such a variety of natural and synthetic fabrics available for inserts (including cotton, hemp, bamboo or microfiber). 

Using modern cloth nappies will also eliminate any chemicals against your baby’s skin and they are easy to clean. You can join this fantastic Facebook group (Clean Cloth Nappies Down Under) for hints and tips on how best to keep your nappies sparkly clean and best of all, they will provide you with a bespoke wash routine specific to your washing machine. 

In 2009 the University of Queensland School of Environmental Engineering did a study on nappies and found that home washed reusable nappies use less non-renewable and total energy over their life-cycle than disposables. 

As you can see, there are many great reasons to give modern cloth napppies a try. They are not only eco-friendly, but they really are a good choice for your baby. We also offer an absolutely stunning range of prints, hand-designed in Byron Bay by the owner of Econaps; you’ll never want your bub to wear pants again!

Ensure you check out our range of eco-friendly, sustainable, reusable and plastic-free alternatives at Little Eco Shop (www.littleecoshop.com)

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