Over at The New Parents Guide they state: It is estimated that roughly 5 million tons of untreated waste and a total of 2 billion tons of urine, feces, plastic and paper are added to landfills annually. It takes around 80,000 pounds of plastic and over 200,000 trees a year to manufacture the disposable diapers for American babies alone. Although some disposables are said to be biodegradable; in order for these diapers to decompose, they must be exposed to air (oxygen) and sun. Since this is highly unlikely, it can take several hundred years for the decomposition of disposables to take place, with some of the plastic material never decomposing. But on the flip side: The pro-disposable diaper advocates say that the extra water used to wash cloth diapers is just as much of an abuse to the environment as the production and disposal of disposable diapers. But taking into consideration the previous estimates you will probably agree that disposable diapers are much more harmful to the environment than cloth diapers.
Here are some more facts from Real Diaper Association about disposable diapers:
- Disposable diapers contain traces of Dioxin, an extremely toxic by-product of the paper-bleaching process. It is a carcinogenic chemical, listed by the EPA as the most toxic of all cancer-linked chemicals. It is banned in most countries, but not the U.S.
- Disposable diapers contain Tributyl-tin (TBT) – a toxic pollutant known to cause hormonal problems in humans and animals.
- Disposable diapers contain sodium polyacrylate, a type of super absorbent polymer (SAP), which becomes a gel-like substance when wet. A similar substance had been used in super-absorbency tampons until the early 1980s when it was revealed that the material increased the risk of toxic shock syndrome.
With all the information I have read on the two types of diapers, I would have to say that for the health and well being of your baby, cloth diapers is the best way to go. The reusable cloth diaper isn’t what it used to be. They now offer Pocket Diapers, All In Ones, Covers and Prefolds or Fitted Diapers. With Velcro tabs, snaps or you have the option to use the old fashioned safety pins.
And for convenience in washing your cloth diapers, pick up The Potty Pail Sprayer Hose, with an easy one wrench installation.