Nappies in Fife – by Rebecca Mayer

After compiling Bag It blog posts for two years, it is fun to come across an amusing and unique recycling concept.  This one makes me wish you, reader, were in the room, so that I could make you guess what this particular subject of creative recycling might be.

Brooms, teacups, skate skiis, wool, trophies, prosthetic limbs?” you might guess.  And I would have to shake my head, no.

Since we are not face-to-face, I’m going to have to just deliver the news in a straightforward fashion:  The rooftops of some Scottish homes may now be tiled with used nappies.

“Nappies, in Europe, are another word for diapers,” my mom friend patiently explains to me on the phone today.

Fife's harbor, where soon local residents will be sailing off in search of a new town, free from roofs tiled in used nappies

Fife’s harbor, where soon local residents will be sailing off in search of a new town, free from roofs tiled in used nappies

Don’t believe me?  Read this Fife Today article, which proves that the term nappies does exist and also that Fife’s loyal readers may be storming the local magistrate’s office in indignation (or whatever one does in Fife to protest dirty nappies being applied to one’s roof).

All hilarity aside, however, disposable diapers contribute hugely to the content of our overflowing landfills.  Consider this statistic, delivered by a mom friend:

The average baby uses 8-12 diapers per day for at least two years.  (Pardon me while I use my calculator app for a second.)   That means – the average baby uses 7300 nappies, or diapers, in the first two years of his/her life.  (That’s a lot of plastic.)

Never fear, however.  My friend has it figured out.  She has purchased 12 diapers for her baby, to last until age 2.  And…she will use these same 12 diapers for her second child as well.

My friend is a stickler for neatness.  Germs are not permitted in her home.  Despite the way it might seem, her baby is almost always scrubbed, clean and joyful.

My friend uses washable diapers.  According to her, there are many “washable” diapers that involve a large insert that is roughly the size of a disposable diaper.  One of these is the g diaper.  Two thumbs down.

The one she recommends?  BUM GENIUS.  It really is, being adjustable for the newborn through to a two-year-old.  And, to make life easier, she uses environmentally-friendly diaper liners close to the baby’s skin.

It will be a lot of washing.  But, I just have to repeat this, you will be saving 7300 diapers from entering the waste stream (or from lining the roof of an unsuspecting citizen of Fife.)

Please spread the word to your parent friends and let us know if you have diapering wisdom to share!


About bagitmovie

Bag It is a documentary film following the world wide use of plastic bags, plastic's impact on the environment and human health.
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