Diaper Disposal - Yellow Bag, Organic Waste, or General Trash Bin?
Over the last century, reusable cloth diapers have been replaced by today's disposable diapers. However, this solution has led to mountains of waste, as on average, a child requires about 5000 diapers until they are potty trained. It becomes even worse when these are disposed of incorrectly, complicating vital recycling processes or even ending up in nature.
Do used diapers belong in the Yellow Bag? No. Due to their composition and the human waste they contain, used diapers must be disposed of in the residual waste. This also applies to bio and eco-diapers.
In the following, we will explain how to properly dispose of used diapers, what to consider in the process, and how you can avoid the trash problem altogether.
The Proper Disposal of Diapers - Here's How
Even though disposable diapers are mostly made from plastic and cellulose, they do not belong in the plastic waste. Since both components are not or only very difficult to biodegrade, organic waste is also the wrong choice for the disposal of used diapers. The German Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act also stipulates that human excretions must not be disposed of in organic waste (source).
In Germany, used diapers are a case for the residual waste.
Do Bio and Eco-Diapers Belong in the Organic Waste Bin?
Even if you initially assume that bio and eco-diapers can be disposed of in the organic waste bin, that is not the case. Unlike other disposable diapers, these may contain a higher percentage of degradable materials and are made from sustainable resources, but usually, they are not fully degradable. And even if they were: Since diapers contain human excretions, they must be disposed of exclusively in the residual waste.
Also, wet wipes used during diaper changes should be placed in the residual waste. You should never flush them down the toilet as they do not dissolve and could clog the pipes. If you use wet wipes to clean your child's hands or face, you can of course dispose of them in the Yellow Bag.
Diaper Bags and Diaper Bins
Over the diapering period, a child requires on average about 5000 diapers. In many households, the residual waste bin is already overflowing just a few days after being emptied.
Many German cities offer alternatives: you can receive special garbage bags or even diaper bins from the city or municipality, which are specifically intended for collecting used diapers and are collected separately. This spares your residual waste bin and ensures the diapers are disposed of properly. Check with your city or municipality for information.
Are Compostable Diapers the Future?
Thanks to ongoing research, compostable diapers could play a role in the future. They are meant to be disposed of on a compost heap after use and decompose there. A clear issue with this: very few people actually have their own compost where they could dispose of the diapers.
Photo by @madame.vio
Cloth Diapers - The Alternative to Mountains of Waste
At present, you mainly have the choice between disposable and reusable diapers. It takes about 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose completely. At least almost completely: The microplastic from the diaper remains and continues to pollute our planet.
You can avoid this trash problem by choosing cloth diapers. We at Judes make the transition especially easy for you, as the cloth diapers we have designed are no different in use from disposable diapers: take off the used diaper, put on a new one, and you're done. The crucial difference is that the used diapers don't end up in the trash but in the laundry and after washing they can be used again. And many times over - our diapers can be used for an entire diapering period or even beyond.
For example, my son was accompanied by cloth diapers until he was potty trained, and when my daughter was born, they were used again.
Judes Cloth Diapers consist of a well-thought-out system and are very simple to use. An inner diaper made of 100% organic cotton catches your child's excretions and is then washed. A waterproof outer diaper ensures that the diaper doesn't leak but still allows air to circulate. This can be aired out after diapering and used several times before you need to wash it.
We at Judes are a young start-up company that has set itself the task of developing the simplest cloth diaper in the world. Numerous parents think that we have succeeded excellently in this endeavor, as Judes are just as easy to use as disposable diapers. Some users even report that they find the application to be even simpler.
As you now know, used diapers do not belong in the Yellow Bag. Nor are they suited for organic waste. Used diapers should be disposed of exclusively in residual waste or in special diaper bags or bins.
Perhaps you too are considering how you can save the earth from becoming completely overrun with trash? To save our planet and all living beings on it, and to give our children a future without mountains of waste, we also need to rethink diapers. A disposable diaper takes 500 years to decompose and even then leaves behind so-called microplastics. With 5000 diapers that a child typically needs until they are potty trained, that means unimaginable amounts of waste – which can be avoided! You can find out more about the sustainability of cloth diapers here.
Our cloth diapers are just as simple to use as disposable diapers. Instead of ending up in the trash, they go into the washing machine after use and can be used over and over again. In this way, you protect the environment and benefit from numerous advantages.