Reusable Cloth Nappies v Disposable Nappies
The true cost of using disposable nappies for your baby and why you should choose reusables
If you’re looking for ways to reduce your environmental impact by using reusable cloth nappies for your baby, but have been met with statements from family and friends such as; ‘washing nappies is just as bad for the planet’, or ‘eco-disposables are eco-friendly and are easier than washing nappies’ which has left you confused as to which products are best, then we’re here to reaffirm your choice and give you that little bit of reassurance you need to make the switch to reusable nappies.
Yes, we are a brand who manufacture reusable nappies, and yes, we are actively promoting our products, but since the very beginning our mission has always been to make the best and most beautiful reusable nappies in the kindest way possible. We are passionate about waste reduction and ethical manufacturing (read more in our Ethical Consumer blog) and will happily tell you all about the environmental cost of disposables, plus we’ll rave about the many benefits of TotsBots reusable cloth nappies too. Here are some of them…
Cloth nappies reduce waste
The UK disposes of around 3 billion disposable nappies each year, representing an estimated 2% to 3% of all household waste (WRAP). This huge contribution to landfill will stick around for over 500 years (it is likely way more, but who is really able to measure that?!)
Not throwing every single dirty nappy that you take off your baby’s bum in the bin means that you don’t have to empty the bin so often, your wheelie bin won’t be overflowing, and there will be much less waste in landfill too. Something your conscience and your local council will be over the moon about!
By the time your baby is potty trained, they’ll have had around 6,000 nappy changes. That’s 6,000 nappies that you’re throwing into landfill if you use disposables or eco-disposables. Even if you swap out just one of your disposable nappies a day to a cloth nappy you will still save 365 nappies from landfill each year, helping to reduce the 3 billion currently being thrown away. Brilliant!
Less is more
You will only need 25-30 nappies plus some accessories to use cloth nappies full time from birth to potty. That’s just a fraction of the 6,000 disposables that you could use while your little one is in nappies. As you can imagine, it takes a lot more energy and raw material to manufacture 6,000 disposable nappies as it does to manufacture 30 reusable nappies – 98% actually (For more visit the Nappy Lady). And it’s not just environmental savings that reusables can contribute too, they’re great for saving some pennies in the long run too. A full set of TotsBots reusable nappies will cost approximately £300 while disposables can cost in the region of £1,000. A saving of around £750 which is better off in your pocket than anyone else’s.
What about the washing?
Washing is something that tends to stop people in their tracks. People who genuinely want to make a difference by reducing their waste end up reverting to the so-called eco-disposable (Read more about eco-disposables here) instead. Concerns around the time that it will take to wash them, the hassle, the upkeep, the mess. Question marks that are amplified when someone from the 70’s talks about washing soiled terry squares in their twin tub. You don’t have to soak TotsBots nappies and stir them with a big stick, or boil wash them to get them clean. They’re super easy and so much better for the environment, as you can wash at temperatures as low as 30 degrees.
The LCA report confirmed that cloth nappies significantly reduce waste and are up to 40% better for the environment than disposables, even taking laundering into consideration (LCA). The last report was carried out back in 2008 and only assessed disposables up until the point of purchase. We’d expect that in today’s world with more economical and efficient washing machines, advances in recycled fabric technology (see our recycled polyester blog), plus taking the refuse collection of disposables into account, they are likely to be even better. Keep that in mind the next time you hear someone dismissing the benefits of modern cloth nappies.
As well as being better for the environment, reusable nappies are better for baby’s skin too as they don’t contain any irritating chemicals or perfumes. They use natural absorbency instead of chemical absorbency and you can be confident that you’re wrapping your little one’s bot in nothing but TLC.
Cost and convenience
The upfront cost of reusable nappies is sometimes a barrier for parents looking to make the switch to reusables. We have a variety of discounted Trial Kits and accessories to suit every budget, and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. There are a lot of reusable nappy schemes which can help with the upfront cost of buying a reusable nappy kit, like Real nappies For London. Once you have your nappy kit, you won’t need to buy anything else so no worry about running out and having to make an emergency, socially distant stop to the supermarket. A Brucey bonus in today’s world.
So, there you have it; reusable nappies are in fact much better than disposables in many ways. They don’t cost the earth, or your sanity; just a little extra time to pop in the wash, hang up and put away to keep your baby’s bum and our planet in tip top condition. Shop our full range of Nappy Kits HERE.