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A Worrying Future for Disposable Nappies/Diapers?

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jan/23/plastic-free-future-nappies-copper

This article talks about a lot of things that may be changed in the near future regarding wastage and the environment. The last section concerns us.

As time goes on and the environment gets pushed further and further we are going to see increasingly drastic measures to try and reduce wastage. Oil is running out and the oceans and ground are getting increasingly polluted. The EU and the UK have pledged big things regarding plastics and making less waste, this includes making sure all plastic that gets made is recyclable.

Obviously it isn't something that we have to worry about at the moment but I would not be surprised if in the future the availability of disposables reduces either through price or quantity.

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In our city, we place disposable diapers in the green bin (with food).

Obviously this is no sort of solution, but I think there are better programs out there.

It is what it is (IMO).  This is a tough subject and i don't think the consumer gets to decide.  If we leave it up to them, we are in for some trouble.

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Wont happen anytime soon

What could happen is that the countries put a tax on the diapers, to make cloth look better

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4 minutes ago, Dubious said:

Wont happen anytime soon

What could happen is that the countries put a tax on the diapers, to make cloth look better

Like a fat tax.  Lazy tax (in a sense).

These things need to happen.

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32 minutes ago, Dubious said:

Wont happen anytime soon

What could happen is that the countries put a tax on the diapers, to make cloth look better

However cloth diapers are pretty much totally impractical outside the home.  No one wants to lug around dirty diapers.

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I didn't really want to get into a debate on cloth nappies (although it was somewhat inevitable) but safe to say for many people they aren't practical or aren't interesting or fun in the same way as disposables.

I would expect to see nappy prices go up as time goes on (prices rarely go down!) and will expect them to be taxed but I get the feeling disposables won't be going away because there will always be a demand for them from mothers and places like hospitals and nursing homes. Unless they are explicitly made illegal to produce I'm sure they aren't going away any time soon.

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^^^ This.  (Was more less typing it out) lol

Thing is though, manufacturers could be forced for more recyclable material (as mentioned), which could change what we know today.

 

But then again, all these specialty realtors ... It's a lot of business to try and kill lol

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Start stockpiling everybody!

 

In sixty years (if we get there lol) second wave nostalgia will kick in and those vintage disposable bambinos, abu, rearz, etc... will be worth big bucks, think of it like the inflation in the vintage video game market. 

I can't believe it has gotten to the point where there are so many specialty companies for this I have to use "etc..." when talking about companies, the future!

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7 hours ago, NaughtyBabyBoy22 said:

However cloth diapers are pretty much totally impractical outside the home.  No one wants to lug around dirty diapers.

 

I'll bounce off of this post ;) It wasn't so long ago that this is exactly they way life was, and there also weren't any commonly found plastic or ziploc bags to put the soiled diapers in. Terribly inconvenient at best. People in general will not ever go back to this no matter the cost in terms of money or environment. We humans aren't the brightest bulbs on anyone's christmas tree :o

Bettypooh

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Remember many years ago when the big question in the grocery store was, "Paper or plastic?"  Now they don't even ask.  Yes, a lot of people recycle their plastic grocery bags either in their home recycle bins or at the grocery store.  A few years back I read an article where 12 million barrels of oil are used each year for making plastic bags in the US alone.  For the world it's figured at 1.6 billion gallons of oil each year.  https://1bagatatime.com/learn/plastic-bags-petroleum/   https://fooddemocracy.wordpress.com/2008/07/16/plastic-bags-and-oil-consumption/  These figures are several years old as well!  I worked in a grocery store out of high school in the late 1970's and early 1980's and there were no plastic grocery bags,  They were all paper in several sizes.  Paper is a renewable source that will degrade in landfills and can be used for starting a fire if needed.  Trees and forests can be replenished in a few years.  Plastic takes up oil to make, will not degrade in landfills and is used for almost all containers including bags in every grocery store.  Your ketchup, Mayonaise, Mustard, spices, toys, you name it are mostly nade of plastic.  Used to be glass bottles for condiments, tin cans for spices.  Tonka trucks were made of metal, not plastic.  They lasted years instead of weeks!  Think of the landfills we would save over time if we just went back to paper bags in stores and nothing else!  There are many ways to cut back on plastics on a day to day bases and use the plastics only for what they are really needed for the most, things with very little options to use other materials.  The thing is, I have no idea how to change the world to go back to paper bags and reusable bags like it was 40 years ago.  Even if someone tried, there would be so much lobbying and politics involved it would probably be a dead end issue.  Companies see money and profits.  They think of the costs of logging and converting their plastic bag factories to producing paper bags instead and will do all they can to avoid it!  If laws were passed to outlaw plastic grocery bags, there would be a big stink from all these manufacturers, but they wouldn't have a choice.  Retool or go out of business.  The owners would probably close up and take what money they have made over the years and leave the employees out of jobs.  On the other hand, now there is a need for paper bags and other companies will start up making them to fill the need.  People are compliant.  They have been having their groceries packed in plastic bags for 40+ years and have gotten in that habit of "that's how it is now".  Younger people in their 20's ad 30's probably don't even know anything other than plastic bags.  We need to change the world and go back to paper bags and use less plastic.  This is one area where progress can be reversed and going back to the old way is better all the way around.  Sometimes ideas do work and may be easier, like plastic grocery bags, but the big question is, are they really necessary?  Can paper bags be just as good or even better?  You can use a lot less paper bags than plastic ones for the same amount of groceries.  Are paper bags better for the environment?  No question about it!  Go back to paper bags all over the world and save the plastic for disposable diapers if need be.

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Absolute and utter bullshit, feamongering and sensationalism... exactly what we should all expect from the modern day main-stream media. "Peak oil" has proven to be a myth... according to the critics we should have reached maximum oil production in the early 00's but, as we've seen, as technology continues to develop new sources of oil are being discovered all the time.

Please don't buy into the garbage being published by the MSM.

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I agree. It does not make sense for anyone to pay too much attention to the "scare the housewives" sections of tv and newspapers.

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11 minutes ago, KinsyInRibbons said:

Really? How would you tax "fat people." Make them weigh in every year, and if their weight is higher than the BMI table says it should be, they get taxed? Well, most athletes would get taxed on they are not lazy.... also my neighbor, a truck driver, is up at 4am, to get to work by 5am, to load, and unload his truck through out the city, and is exhausted every night when he gets home, which has not stopped him from helping me put up a fence. He is not a small man, does he get to pay the fat tax?

Seriously, this is one of the most offensive things I have heard in a long time.

It already exists in Europe.  They call it a fat tax, it's on things that are not good for you / good for the environment.  So, fast food, has a fat tax.
It's not a tax on the person, but on the item.

I was vacationing last fall and was paying an extra tax, couldn't figure out why.  I looked it up and that's what I found.

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28 minutes ago, FunTime said:

It already exists in Europe.  They call it a fat tax, it's on things that are not good for you / good for the environment.  So, fast food, has a fat tax.
It's not a tax on the person, but on the item.

No government ever taxed its way to prosperity. 

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4 minutes ago, Darkfinn said:

No government ever taxed its way to prosperity. 

Makes you think about what you're purchasing though.  I get it.

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I think what is likely to happen is that companies will put more effort into environmentally friendlier plastics.  Plastics derived from vegetable oil that degrade in a matter of weeks or months rather than years.

Not sure how that translates to the disposable diaper industry as there is already a huge push to go towards cloth like diapers......which are plastic anyway.....

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Rusty u make a good point. But let's point out exactly why we have pushed to plastic bags and gotten away from paper.I personally believe in paper but there are several reasons why we now use primarily plastic bags.

Deforestation.  The demand for paper has driven our forests to the brink. As the world population grew so had  the demand for wood. Wood,  used for housing, paper, heating,  and other such items that were in high demand back when plastic was in it's infancy. Sure we could replant trees but in order to use those trees they need 25 to 30 good years to reach maturity. 2 × 4's and such aren't made from twigs. Wood just couldn't  be replenished fast enough to meet the demand. And as the population grew our forests shrank. It's still going on present day. We are close to hitting a world population of 9 billion and it's not showing any major indications of slowing down, and in order for these ppl to survive they need space. Increasingly more farmland and forests  are being  turned into development for living. Humans are ever encroaching on our forests. We're breeding like rabbits and we are the true destruction of our own species. 

Convenience.  Paper was a nuisance. It would get  wet from condensation. Can you remember how many times a paper bag ripped because it was  wet from cold foods condensating in the heat of summer? What a pain in the ass that was.  Nothing worse than picking up a wet bag and the bottom gives out and everything in it hitting the ground including glass jars and some of them breaking. 

No handles on paper bags. Really this was one of the most inconvenient things about paper bags. Usually you could only carry 2 maybe 3 at a time. And once you get to the door you have to put those bags down to unlock the door to get in the house. If you had a large grocery order several trips were required to get all the groceries in. 

I grew up in a family of 7 and I remember well those groceries trips. The back of the station wagon was loaded with bags sometimes 20 or more which required several trips to and from the car to bring them in. Imagine how it was for the individual/family  living in a high rise apartment. 

Now with plastic, depending on what's in them you can carry 6 or more bags in one hand and have your other hand free to unlock the door and enter the house. 

The demand for wood was a constant throughout humanity.  We used it for practically everything. Heating our homes was a necessity and before coal wood it's  what man used. Sure there was whale blubber that was refined to lamp oil but hardly enough to meet the demand to heat homes. And some oil products we have been using for centuries but it wasn't until we discovered a way to effectively drill it and refine it that man finally realized that oil can be a sustainable source of energy.   The discovery and refinement of oil was a godsend. Without it there would be no mankind as we know it. With todays population and demand there is no way wood could sustain us. Oil is plenty right now and that's  what we will use. 

We can reduce our carbon footprint we just need to learn to inconvenience ourselves but I don't see that in the  modern worlds near future. 

As far as cloth diapers. Screw that shit too. It's no better than using disposables. As a matter of fact the cleaning of cloth diapers still leaves a carbon footprint by the amount of water, bleach, and detergents used to maintain them, and unless your hanging them out to dry, your using a dryer which runs on electricity, which is either produced by coal, oil, or natural gas.  

Yeah there is energy produced by solar, wind, water turbine, and other renewable sources but those also leave a carbon footprint during the production of making the equipment to produce it. 

As far as my feelings towards this.

Fuck it. I'll be dead in in 30 plus years and I really don't give a fuck what happens, those before me didn't. 

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4 hours ago, Darkfinn said:

Absolute and utter bullshit, feamongering and sensationalism... exactly what we should all expect from the modern day main-stream media. "Peak oil" has proven to be a myth... according to the critics we should have reached maximum oil production in the early 00's but, as we've seen, as technology continues to develop new sources of oil are being discovered all the time.

Please don't buy into the garbage being published by the MSM.

I'm not trying to get into an argument but just because predictions about when we would hit peak production were wrong doesn't make oil or landfills inexhaustible things.

Oil is getting harder and harder to come by and you can see that in fracking and having to use rather extreme methods to get at new supplies. Whether it runs out ten years ago or one hundred years from now is irrelevant because it will come sooner or later and long before it runs out it will become very expensive.

Dismissing everything being written in mainstream media is as bad as buying into it wholeheartedly. I didn't link the article as proof or evidence, it is an opinion piece that I thought was worth talking about because plastic wastage is quite an issue in a bunch of places.

2 hours ago, drynot said:

I think what is likely to happen is that companies will put more effort into environmentally friendlier plastics.  Plastics derived from vegetable oil that degrade in a matter of weeks or months rather than years.

Not sure how that translates to the disposable diaper industry as there is already a huge push to go towards cloth like diapers......which are plastic anyway.....

I tend to agree.

Disposables are extremely convenient and I think before they disappear there will be a change in the way they are made or what they are made out of. Prices may change but I wouldn't expect them to go away, certainly not any time soon.

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It sounds worrying, but nothing to actually worry about.

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3 hours ago, Elfy said:

I'm not trying to get into an argument but just because predictions about when we would hit peak production were wrong doesn't make oil or landfills inexhaustible things.

Oil is getting harder and harder to come by and you can see that in fracking and having to use rather extreme methods to get at new supplies. Whether it runs out ten years ago or one hundred years from now is irrelevant because it will come sooner or later and long before it runs out it will become very expensive.

Dismissing everything being written in mainstream media is as bad as buying into it wholeheartedly. I didn't link the article as proof or evidence, it is an opinion piece that I thought was worth talking about because plastic wastage is quite an issue in a bunch of places.

I tend to agree.

Disposables are extremely convenient and I think before they disappear there will be a change in the way they are made or what they are made out of. Prices may change but I wouldn't expect them to go away, certainly not any time soon.

What about biodegradable diapers?  I know the honest company makes them and I wouldn't be surprised if abdl companies started to as well.

Think about it, which is easier: chopping down a tree, and making bioplastic/paper padded diapers,.or drilling miles below the earth to extract oil to turn into plastic diapers?

Obviously, those aren't the only two options, but I think you see my point.

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I don't know why environmentalists like to criticize plastic. It is far easier to deal with than making everything out of glass and metals like the article suggested. Those materials require much more energy to synthesize than plastic. Anyways, to calm everyone's fears, once the oil becomes too expensive due to scarcity, other alternativesd to producing the polymers that make up the plastics we rely on will become more economically feasible, such as the production of polymers from methane. That said, what I would like to see are significant improvements in recycling technology. Current processes break down the polymer chain into smaller pieces making it useless for its previously applications, so we make napkins and egg cartons with the material instead. While nice, it doesn't quite get us all the way there.

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Both paper and plastic can be recycled, which is often done in Europe. but you over there in the states just dump everything in landfills

About the only thing that go in the trashcan here, is my diapers, everything else goes in the recycle bins

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18 hours ago, DL4LIFE said:

Rusty u make a good point. But let's point out exactly why we have pushed to plastic bags and gotten away from paper.I personally believe in paper but there are several reasons why we now use primarily plastic bags.

Deforestation.  The demand for paper has driven our forests to the brink. As the world population grew so had  the demand for wood. Wood,  used for housing, paper, heating,  and other such items that were in high demand back when plastic was in it's infancy. Sure we could replant trees but in order to use those trees they need 25 to 30 good years to reach maturity. 2 × 4's and such aren't made from twigs. Wood just couldn't  be replenished fast enough to meet the demand. And as the population grew our forests shrank. It's still going on present day. We are close to hitting a world population of 9 billion and it's not showing any major indications of slowing down, and in order for these ppl to survive they need space. Increasingly more farmland and forests  are being  turned into development for living. Humans are ever encroaching on our forests. We're breeding like rabbits and we are the true destruction of our own species. 

True there is a lot of building going on, but with more people reading E-books and getting their news on-line instead of the daily newspaper, that saves some trees.  You do make a good point on the forests and replenishing them.

Convenience.  Paper was a nuisance. It would get  wet from condensation. Can you remember how many times a paper bag ripped because it was  wet from cold foods condensating in the heat of summer? What a pain in the ass that was.  Nothing worse than picking up a wet bag and the bottom gives out and everything in it hitting the ground including glass jars and some of them breaking.

I don't remember having any problem with a paper bag ripping due to condensation, but the bags we used were very heavy duty.  Even my own ice cream and cold items were safe in the bags when I got them home, no tears in the paper or soggy bottoms, but yes, that can happen.  I still say the majority of items can be packed in paper bags with no problems and better for the environment. 

No handles on paper bags. Really this was one of the most inconvenient things about paper bags. Usually you could only carry 2 maybe 3 at a time. And once you get to the door you have to put those bags down to unlock the door to get in the house. If you had a large grocery order several trips were required to get all the groceries in. 

The paper bags I ued to get groceries in and the bags we used in the grocery store had handles on them.  They were easy to carry and held a lot more items, especially lighter items like paper towels, napkins, potato chips, things like that.  When those items are placed in plastic bags, they often fall out because they are too big and bulky to fit in a small plastic bag.  The handles can't be used because with a bag of chips or paper towels sticking out the top you can't get the handles together in the center of the bag to carry it.  I have to carry in a lot more plastic bags than I do paper bags because the plastic ones hold a lot less.  It's still the same amount of groceries I have to carry in, and I still have to set the plastic bags on the front porch to unlock and open the door if I carry a lot in at once.

I grew up in a family of 7 and I remember well those groceries trips. The back of the station wagon was loaded with bags sometimes 20 or more which required several trips to and from the car to bring them in. Imagine how it was for the individual/family  living in a high rise apartment. 

Yes, lots of bags, but with paper bags they hold more because they are larger.  I sometimes think it's the policy of every store to pack the smallest amount of groceries in the largest number of bags.  I have gone in and bought 2 small items and have had them packed into 2 plastic bags.

Now with plastic, depending on what's in them you can carry 6 or more bags in one hand and have your other hand free to unlock the door and enter the house. 

The demand for wood was a constant throughout humanity.  We used it for practically everything. Heating our homes was a necessity and before coal wood it's  what man used. Sure there was whale blubber that was refined to lamp oil but hardly enough to meet the demand to heat homes. And some oil products we have been using for centuries but it wasn't until we discovered a way to effectively drill it and refine it that man finally realized that oil can be a sustainable source of energy.   The discovery and refinement of oil was a godsend. Without it there would be no mankind as we know it. With todays population and demand there is no way wood could sustain us. Oil is plenty right now and that's  what we will use. 

By all means, I'm not saying not to use oil for gas or heating.  It is a necessity and even though gas and exhaust can polute, it is a necessity for cars and trains and airplanes and heating and producing steel and other items of manufacturer.  Many strides have been made over the last 30 years in making exhaust less hazardous (the term is less) and helping reduce pollution (the key word is helping reduce).  If we use the oil for those purposes and cut back on it's use by 1.6 billion gallons each year from making plastic bags, that is a help.  We import a lot of oil from forigen countries and it is costly.  Then there is the fracking controversy on how it is bad for the environment.  We can use oil where it's needed the most but also using alternatives when possible can be better for the environment, save on oil and polute less, such as wind and hydro power.

We can reduce our carbon footprint we just need to learn to inconvenience ourselves but I don't see that in the  modern worlds near future. 

And one way to reduce our carbon footprint is to use less plastic bags and more paper or reusable cloth ones and recycle all we can.

As far as cloth diapers. Screw that shit too. It's no better than using disposables. As a matter of fact the cleaning of cloth diapers still leaves a carbon footprint by the amount of water, bleach, and detergents used to maintain them, and unless your hanging them out to dry, your using a dryer which runs on electricity, which is either produced by coal, oil, or natural gas.

You do use water and electricity, but don't you have to wash your clothing anyway?  The waste water will seep through the ground where it will purify into the water table and be reused.  There is always going to be good and bad things to say abut whatever is used, but with cloth diapers (and I use mostly disposables when I wear diapers), the water used to launder them is not sitting for thousands of years in a landfill like the plastic from bags, bottles and other plastic items. With wind or hydro power you are not using oil to produce your electricity and it's a renuable source of power. 

Yeah there is energy produced by solar, wind, water turbine, and other renewable sources but those also leave a carbon footprint during the production of making the equipment to produce it.

True, but everything that is made will leave a carbon footprint, even plastic grocery bags when they are produced.  Once the equipment for solar energy, wind and water turbines are built, all that is left is the maintenece of that equipment.  It's not like a plastic item where you make them every single day, use them once and throw them away, or oil you have to constantly burn to provide the electricity.  The equipment for those energy sources is made one time and used for years, and in the daily usage of that equipment it is providing a source of usable energy to provide electricity for numerous towns and cities, all using natures power instead of burning coal, oil and natural gas which adds pollutants to the air and ozone.  

As far as my feelings towards this.

Fuck it. I'll be dead in in 30 plus years and I really don't give a fuck what happens, those before me didn't.

Which is why we worry about it now and try to clean up what previous generations didn't.  We have the technology our forefathers didn't have to do better.  I well remember the litter in the 1960's before a conscious effort was made to do something about it.  Bottles and soda cans with deposits were a great start, then commercials against littering helped a lot.  We can do our part for the environment.  If your bothered that those before didn't do enough for the environment, "fuck it" is your choice, but I would want to do simple things such as recycle all that I can to keep it out of landfills.  Use your plastic bags if you choose to, but don't throw them away!  Recycle them so they can be reused and remade over and over gain. better yet, get sturdy reusable cloth bags with heavy duty handles you can use to carry them to your car and in your house.  They won't fall apart from a little ice cream or frozen food condensation either. 

We can debate this over and over.  Some people think it's not a big deal, others do.  It may not be that big a problem, but in 100 years who knows?  We do know there is damage to the ozone.  Problems with the oceans and global warming.  We may not be around in 50 years to see the results, but there are enough concerns to stat doing things about the environment now.  Plastic grocery bags degrading in the landfills may not be the greatest problems in the world right now, but it's such a simple thing we can do to help improve the situation. Recycle all we can to avoid it ending up in landfills for thousands of years.  It's not hared to do and takes a little extra effort when separating your trash, but have we gotten to be that lazy of a society we can't take a few extra minutes a day to do that?  

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