Cloth or Plastic: Greenies Debate the Diaper

Cotton's footprint not that much better than disposables'
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Sep 28, 2008 4:08 PM CDT
Disposables produce up to 70 times more waste than reusable diapers, but cotton requires huge energy to grow, transport, and launder.   ((c) bardgabbard)
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(Newser) – For green parents, the choice between disposables or cloth diapers may seem like a catch-22. Silvia Spring weighs the issue in the Boston Globe, but finds no easy answer. While disposables produce up to 70 times more waste than cloth, the latest study concluded that disposable diapers have the same environmental impact as reusable diapers when the effect of laundering cloth diapers is taken into account.

Even though research shows little evidence supporting one over the other, blogs, books, and online forums show that many people take the benefits of cloth diapers on faith. "You'll never convince me that something you reuse is not better for the environment than something you throw out," said one owner of a diaper service.