|GRN Recycle Talk FAQ
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 98 11:48 WET DST From: FRIEDMAN.FRED@EPAMAIL.EPA.GOV (Fred Friedman) Subject: Re: Resource , disposal, consumer demand: disposable diapers (Chris Bower)
April 7, 1998
Dear Chris Bower,
This was a hot topic in 1988-1990 and hasn't been one since. There are a couple of sources which are partisan, but which discuss the merits of each that can answer your question in detail. They are:
Carl Lehrburger, Diapers in the waste stream: A review of waste management and public policy issues , 12/88 which, in 1988 were available from the author at: PO Box 580, Sheffield, MA 02157.
Franklin Associates, Ltd., Disposable Diapers: Summary and interpretation of literature sources on the environmental and health effects of diapers 7/90. In 1990 this was available from the authors at 4121 W 83 St., Suite 108, Prairie Village, KS 66208.
Center for Policy Alternatives, Update on diapers and waste reduction and Update on Diapers 9/90. Available from the author at 1985 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 710, Washington DC 20009.
Here is what one of our favorite sources (The WARMER Bulletin, UK) had to say in comparison:
Cotton Diapers: Consume less raw materials in manufacture; create less waste for disposal; are less absorbent; consume more energy in use for washing and drying; consume detergents and use water for rinsing, etc.; produce less odors; are cheaper; require transport for collection and delivery if a diaper service is used.
Plastic Disposables: Consume more raw materials in manufacture; create more waste for disposal; are more absorbent; consume no energy in use; consume no detergents but some water for rinsing; produce more odors; are the most expensive option; are more convenient; may be more hygienic for parents; since they are generally purchased during regular shopping trips, have no extra transport needed.
- Research Library for RCRA