Cloth diapers versus plastic diapers

A baby is likely to go through between 5,000 and 6,000 disposable plastic diapers before becoming potty trained. Population projections show that the yearly number of births will remain at around 140 million per year over the coming decades. 

Habits and practices related to diapering continue to vary greatly around the world and are continually evolving based on changing cultural norms, disposable income, and access to information.

One thing is certain ….. diapers are not recyclable in most countries.

The fate of most plastic diapers is

  • littered on land and in rivers
  • landfilled or
  • incinerated (depending where you live)

Plastic disposable diapers are macroplastic, clogging rivers and waterways, enter the ocean, degrade to microplastics, cause leaching of toxic chemicals when dumped in the environment and contaminate other waste in collection systems and thus affect recycling processes for recyclable plastics.

Reusable cloth diapers save families money, avoiding plastic diapers helps reducing plastic pollution.

Do follow proper hygiene measures. On the internet you can find lots of information about newborn health, for example on the website of the World Health Organisation or on this webpage

Cloth diapers are sold in many countries. In regions where they are not available or too expensive moms or women groups can make them, there are lots of videos with clear instructions, for example this video

Feel free to join our campaign ! You can download all posters for free and use in socialisation in women groups.

Now available in English (UK and US), Dutch, Filipino, French, Hindi, Indonesian, Malay, Portuguese, Swahili, Turkish and more languages coming soon !

Brought to you by LessPlasticUK and network partners at International Waste Platform