It appears that most parents around the world have never actually read the small print on any of the hundreds of packs of disposable nappies they purchase during their child’s time in nappies.
However once you do find them, the disposal instructions are very clear. If you look right on the very base of most disposable nappy packs, you will find in the smallest text something that reads similar to this:
Disposal instructions: Excess soiling should be removed and flushed down the toilet. Do not flush the nappy down the toilet. Roll nappy into a tight ball using the grip tabs to reseal. Discard into waste bin.
Wait a minute; did anyone actually stop to read this? No, it would appear not.
‘Parents just assume that because it is disposable, you use it, wrap it up and throw it away.’ The Nappy Lady, Kate Meads explains. ‘It is amazing; the number of parents who have absolutely no idea what the correct procedure is for the disposal of a throwaway nappy. The instructions for use are very clear especially with some packs having pictures on the back. However the actual disposal instructions are separate and you have to look to find them on each pack.’
Considering these instructions are written on every pack of disposable nappies in the supermarket, you would expect that all parents would know how to dispose of them correctly.
The Nappy Lady uses her website (www.thenappylady.co.nz) and runs cloth nappy workshops around NZ for parents to provide unbiased, unbranded information about what nappy options are available, how they all work, and impact on the environment.
‘Parents attending the nappy workshops are shocked when they find out that they should remove the poop. Removing the solids from a disposable makes the convenience factor pretty redundant.’ Kate says. ‘All of a sudden the disposable diaper becomes time consuming and inconvenient.’
So if parents are not using the nappies as suggested by the manufacturers, then it is likely that there may be tonnes of untreated human waste going to our landfills along with the estimated 1 million disposable nappies every day in New Zealand.
During International Real Nappy Week this year 26th April – 2nd of May, The Nappy Lady and her representatives will be holding a number of coffee groups around the country to give NZ parents clear information surrounding their nappy choices and will be demonstrating the correct way to use the different styles of nappies available.
Aside from the majority of parents not knowing how to properly use a disposable nappy, they also have no idea that there are so many different modern cloth nappies available today. They are still hung up on the old, ill fitting flat nappies with the pink stripes, nasty sharp pins, buckets of nappies soaking and lines and lines of washing.
“‘Parents need to know that the high quality modern cloth nappies available today require no pins, no folding and no soaking! They have evolved into convenient, time saving high performance products that may even outperform their disposable counterparts.”