How Ditching Disposable Nappies Can Help Save The Planet

biodegradable modern cloth nappies

Nappies, it’s a pretty yucky business. 

We’re sure you’ve experienced every colour of baby poo, the worst kind of nappy explosion, and that smelly solid poo they produce when they are 4-6 months old (eww). 

As soon as you get a Code Brown, you’ll want to get rid of that stinky nappy as soon as you possibly can!

What may not be so obvious though, is the effect our daily use of disposable nappies is having on our environment. 

So, let's have a little chat about disposable nappies...

Disposable nappies are actually single use plastics

We drink McDonald’s milkshakes through a paper straw now (even though it’s a soggy mess after 5 minutes), we pay a small fee for our grocery bags (your plastic bag draw must be worth an absolute fortune by now), and Coca Cola has even started a campaign to recycle every bottle it sells by 2030. 

We are mini superheroes, on a mission to rid the earth of single use plastics. Woohoo! Go us!

Now, let’s throw disposable nappies into the mix. How many times can you use a nappy before you have to throw it away? 

Yep, only once. This is also the case with nappy bags, wipes, and those fancy nappy bin liners (that’s a hell of a lot of plastic, for one Code Brown).

Quick Nappy Fact

  • The main ingredient in a modern disposable nappy is Polypropylene, a safe commercial plastic which is used to form the outer and inner layers of a nappy.
  • Polypropylene is also the most common microplastic found in our environment (it has even been found in human poop!).

In contrast, cloth nappies contain zero plastic, one nappy can be reused for years, and it can even be recycled when you’re done. 

Cloth Nappies, therefore, pack more bang for your buck and are mega planet-friendly!


It takes a whole lot of water to create a nappy

Over the years, we Australians have gotten pretty good at saving water, haven’t we?

Taking this into account, consider that it takes over 40 litres of water to manufacture just one disposable nappy. 


Yep! A newborn baby can use up to 10 nappies a day, so that’s 400 litres of water, or 4 full bath tubs!

Alternatively, cloth nappies: 

  • Are produced using 230% less water than disposable nappies
  • Once pre-washed, can be added to a full load of laundry 
  • If hand washed, are even more water/energy efficient

The nappies you used as a baby, are still sitting in landfill

To be honest, your mum’s nappies are probably still sitting out there too (gross, we know).

This is because it takes at least 500 years for one nappy to biodegrade, and this is in the most perfect of conditions. It is more likely to breakdown into microplastics – and we have all heard the horror stories about those!

The average baby uses 6,000 disposable nappies, most of which, end up in the bin with our usual waste products (and poo is certainly not household waste). In Australia, approximately 5.6 million end up on a landfill site each day.

Yep, you heard that right.

Your baby will only need 36 of our Smarty Pants Cloth Nappies, for full time use. Smarty Pants will last until your baby is toilet trained and can even be passed down to siblings. 

Disposables are polluting our environment

Would you put your poo in the bin?

Yet, it’s so normal to put our baby’s poo in the bin. Why?

If we consider that disposable nappies can sit on a landfill site for half a millennium, that mammoth pile of poo will eventually turn into methane.

Methane is a greenhouse gas, more powerful than carbon dioxide and a cause of climate change.

Cloth nappies to the rescue…

When using a cloth nappy, poo is shaken into the toilet and flushed away. It then enters the local sewage treatment centre and is processed, just like adult poo. 

Problem solved.

What can you do to help?

  • Ditch the disposable nappies. Help save the planet!
  • Join our community and become a Smarty Pant. Earn points by purchasing our products, writing a review and sharing your experience with your friends and family. Points can then be exchanged for money off our products.