The Benefits of Reusable Nappies


During infancy your baby will spend approximately 25,000 hours in nappies and need about 6,000 nappy changes- so your decision to use either real nappies or disposables will have a big impact on your babies’ health and well-being, your wallet and your planet.

  • Around 8 million disposable nappies are used every day in the UK. More than 92% of these end up in landfill sites. What happens when these landfills are full? Well, the use of incinerators will increase. Would you want one near you?

  • In the UK alone we get through 500,000 tonnes of disposable nappies every year! By choosing reusable nappies, you can reduce your household waste by half.

  • Ancient Canadian and Scandinavian forests are being felled, and animal species threatened, by deforestation in order to supply the UK’s paper pulp- the largest single component of the disposable nappy.

  • Instructions on disposable nappy packages recommend that fecal matter be deposited into the toilet before disposing of it, but less than one half of one percent of all waste from single-use nappies goes into the sewage system.

  • Untreated body excrement, which may carry over 100 intestinal diseases in brought to the landfill in huge amounts. This attracts insects which may carry and transmit diseases, and is likely to contribute to groundwater contamination.

  • It is estimated that more than 300 pounds of wood, 50 pounds of petroleum feedstocks and 20 pounds of chlorine are used to produce disposable nappies for one baby each year.

  • More than 92% of disposable nappies end up in landfills


  • For every £1 spent on disposable nappies, there is a cost to the taxpayer of 10p to dispose of them!

  • Leicestershire taxpayers pay £250,000 every year to dump disposable nappies in landfill sites.


  • By choosing real nappies, you are helping to protect your baby’s very delicate skin from the harsh chemicals, plastics and adhesives that form the basis of disposables. A baby’s skin is 5 times thinner than that of an adult, so you can only imagine how much gets absorbed.

  • In 2000, a scientific study was conducted at Kiel University in Germany which indicated that the widespread use of disposable nappies, which heat the testes above body temperature, is a significant factor in the declining fertility rates in Western European men.

  • Wide spread nappy rash surfaced alongside disposable nappies. A review of Proctor & Gambles own studies (The Landbank Consultancy Limited, 1991) found that the incidence of nappy rash increased from 7.1% to 61% with the increased use of disposable nappies. Very handy for Nappy Rash Cream manufacturers!

  • The chemical Sodium Polyacrylate absorbs and holds fluid in disposable nappies. This chemical has been linked to toxic shock syndrome and was banned from use in tampons in 1985. It can cause allergic reactions and it lethal to cats when inhaled. Its long term safety to a childs vulnerable genitals has not been assessed. In the short term, its super absorbency draws moisture away from the skin, in some instances causing severe nappy rash, and bleeding of perineal and scrotal tissue.

  • Problems reported to the Consumer Protection Agency relating to disposable nappies include; plastic melting to the skin, choking on linings and paper tabs, discovery of wooden splinters, ink staining the skin and chemical burns.

  • The design of disposable nappies means that the child can not feel when they are wet, which can lead to delayed potty training. Real nappy wearing babies will generally potty train sooner than those in disposables.


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