The United Kingdom’s Environment Agency (Government) has released an updated Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) Study for Disposable and Reusable Nappies using 2006 reference points (as opposed to outdated ones from 2004).

The new report reiterates what reusable nappy users have maintained since modern fabrics and washing methods have been adopted, that reusable nappies are better for the environment than disposable nappies, by up to a staggering 40%.

The report says that washing reusable nappies in full loads in energy efficient machines, on 40°C then line drying and reusing on future children uses only 370kg carbon dioxide equivalents over 2.5 years in nappies. Conversely, using disposable nappies for the same period releases 550kg carbon dioxide equivalents to the atmosphere (nearly double). The report’s findings will encourage all parents to adpot best practice laundering and care methods as advocated by modern users of reusable nappies, the Australian Nappy Network and explained at the FAQ section of Oz Cloth Nappies.

The full report can be downloaded here: An updated lifecycle assessment study for disposable and reusable nappies 

(If the link above does not open the page hosting the fully updated report, us the search publications function and search for the term ‘nappies’ – note, you are looking for the updated report)

Read the Australian Nappy Network (Aus) Media Release

Read the Women’s Environment Network (WEN – UK) Press Release on the Updated Report

Real the Real Nappy Campaign (UK) Media Release on the Updated Report

For media discussion of the updated LCA please read here:

Daily Telegraph UK Nappies: terry cloth more environmentally friendly than disposable

MRW: Cloth nappies can save 40% carbon emissions, EA report reveals

The Herald (UK) Revealed: using reusable nappies best for the environment

The Herald (UK) Washable Nappies Can HelpFamilies Stay Green… and Cut Costs

The Australian Nappy Network (ANN) will be running and publicising many projects that will help to promote the wider use of reusable nappies.

One of the ANN’s first big projects is a set of search-able databases designed to make it easier for parents to a) choose child care and hospitals that use the nappies they want used on their children and b) equip parents with information about the nappies that are used in hospitals and child care they may need to use.

While we intend to contact service providers to populate the Cloth Friendly Child Care and Cloth Friendly Hospital databases, to start with we would like to ask users of child care and hospital (maternity and pediatric) services to complete a survey for any service they have used, detailing their experiences, knowledge, and the service provider’s willingness to use various types of nappies. The surveys should take no more than a few minutes each to complete.

The surveys can be found at the following links:

Cloth in Child Care: 

Cloth in Hospitals: