Have you ever thought about the impact that disposable diapers have on the environment? Every day we make choices that have some impact on the environment. One very common choice that families make is to use disposable diapers. But, the concern scientists have is what happens to a disposable diaper once it’s served its purpose. A 1998 study shows that approximately 3.4 tons of disposable diapers end up in landfills. That is equal to about 18 billion diapers per year that fill our landfills. While landfills are common places where all the garbage is dumped into the ground, they do not provide anything necessary for diapers to decompose.
Many of the components of disposable diapers do not break down. It is estimated that it takes an average of 450 years for a disposable diaper to break down in a landfill. Among the many materials that go into making a disposable diaper, they contain polypropalene and polyetholene, two chemicals that last virtually forever. Since disposable diapers don’t break down, they add to pollution and can even contaminate ground water due to their holding human waste.
Many people are so used to disposable diapers that they don’t consider that there is a much better, less expensive, and environmentally sensitive alternative: use cloth diapers. Since cloth diapers are reusable they save consumers the repeated expense of having to buy disposable diapers and they dramatically cut down on the amount of trash in our landfills. Additionally, the water used to wash them is processed through water treatment facilities, which eliminates the danger of adding pollution to our natural water systems.
When you factor in how you’re helping the environment, and the fact that you are saving approximately 27 percent more money that using disposable diapers, it’s easy to see how using cloth diapers is good for the earth and your wallet!
Lake Forest Elementary