Anyone that has ever had a baby and changed diapers can understand what I mean by "What a Stinky Mess!" And those that have babysat an infant or even been nearby when an infant was changed out of a soiled diaper! Wow, can that stink!
But today, I am talking about another stinky mess. One that ALSO involves disposable diapers. In the UK, a company called Knowaste has been recycling diapers for over 5 years. When they tried to fund get a small program in California, it never even got past the pilot stage. And Proctor & Gamble abandoned a pilot program in Seattle In the early 1990s because it wasn’t worth the money and effort. No one has succeeded in getting people to recycle disposable diapers in the U.S.
Why would the American parents, Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Babysitters, Caregivers and anyone with an infant NOT want to recycle disposable diapers? This surprised me. You would think that we, as a civilized country, wanting to protect the earth for our babies to enjoy when they grow up, would be more than willing to recycle those stinky diapers. Maybe it is a matter of designing the best way to "hold" the diapers until they are disposed of for recycling purposes. The article I read did not go into alot of detail on the "Why" involved in the lack of support for this recycling effort. But I intend to find out. (I DO love research!)
An average child will use between 8,000 -10,000 disposable diapers ($2,000 worth) before being potty trained. Each year, parents and babysitters dispose of about 18 billion of these items. In the United States alone these single-use items consume nearly 100,000 tons of plastic and 800,000 tons of tree pulp. We will pay an average of $350 million annually to deal with their disposal and, to top it off, these diapers will still be in the landfill 300 years from now. Americans throw away 570 diapers per second. That's 49 million diapers per day!!!
So my question today is this: Would YOU want to recycle those nasty disposable diapers so that they do not fill up in the landfills and pollute the future Earth for your children?
Read more about the diaper recycling companies here.