A new study on diapers finds no difference between cloth and paper
Ok, that’s a dumb headline. But the problem itself — whether to diaper my babies with cloth or disposables — was one I spent a bit of time agonizing over.
But perhaps I shouldn’t have. A new study commissioned by the British Environment Agency (reported on here and here) suggests there’s almost no difference between the two, at least in terms of environmental impacts. Which is roughly the same answer that this 1992 study, at the website of our friends at the Institute for Lifecycle Energy Analysis, came to.
The British study made some suggestions for ways that both disposables and cloth diapers could be improved, to reduce their impacts: for people who wash theyir own diapers, that means reducing washing temperature, using efficient washers, and line drying for home-washed cloth diapers. (Which, of course, is good advice for all your washing, not just diapers.)