Disposing of Diapers on Vacation: How to Do It Right
When you go on vacation with your baby, you need to plan for quite a bit of extra luggage. Clothes, hygiene items, a stroller, carrier, possibly a travel crib, and of course, diapers. Depending on where you spend your vacation, you should pay close attention to how and where you dispose of used diapers.
Where are disposable diapers disposed of? According to German waste law, the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act, used disposable diapers and wet wipes belong in the residual waste bin.
In this post, you'll learn how to properly dispose of disposable diapers on vacation. Additionally, we'll show you why Judes's cloth diapers are a fantastic alternative!
Proper Diaper Disposal
It's obvious that disposable diapers need to be thrown away after use. But into which bin? We will show you how to properly dispose of your diapers even while on vacation.
In Germany, diapers belong in the residual waste. Even though disposable diapers are made of plastic and absorbent cellulose material, which might suggest they could be disposed of in the Yellow Bin (for recyclables), they should not be placed in the plastics recycling due to contamination with feces and urine.
Maybe you use eco-friendly diapers and think they belong in the organic waste bin. However, the rule remains: disposable diapers belong in the residual waste. Even eco-friendly diapers are not 100% made of recyclable material. Furthermore, the Closed Substance Cycle Waste Management Act clearly states that human excretions must not be disposed of in the organic waste (source).
To avoid clogs, wet wipes should also be disposed of in the residual waste and not flushed down the toilet. Especially on vacation, there can be negative consequences if you damage someone else's property by incorrectly disposing of wet wipes.
On vacation, you are also faced with the problem that a trash can may not always be available. Disposing of diapers in nature should not be an option. If no suitable trash can is available, you will have to carry the used diapers with you.
Even with special diaper bags, unpleasant smells can develop. If you need to temporarily store used diapers while on vacation, you should choose a well-ventilated place, such as the balcony, terrace, or garage. Special diaper pails can also help. These can keep the used diapers contained without odors escaping, but they take up a lot of space in your luggage.
Especially while on the move, you will not always have the opportunity to dispose of used diapers immediately. For these situations, scented bags are recommended, which can mask the smell of the diapers.
Registering for a Diaper Disposal Bag
If you are spending an extended period of time in the same place during your vacation, you can also inquire whether you can temporarily register for the Windelsack service. In this case, you will receive specialized disposal bags from the respective city or municipality at no charge. You collect the used diapers in these bags and set them out on the street for collection. This prevents the residual waste bin from being overfilled after just a few days and ensures a professional disposal of the disposable diapers.
Cloth Diapers as an Alternative
Especially when it comes to waste consumption, it is worth comparing with cloth diapers. In Germany, disposable diapers account for about 10% to 15% of the residual waste, amounting to 154,680 tonnes of waste per year from disposable diapers alone. Considering that a conventional disposable diaper takes about 500 years to decompose, it becomes clear that we need to act.
Cloth diapers have a significantly better environmental footprint. Even when including the washing and drying of the diapers in the comparison, cloth diapers still perform better than disposable ones. They produce less waste and are less inconvenient than you think. On the contrary, we at Judes have developed cloth diapers that make diapering as easy as with disposable diapers. Used diaper off, new diaper on, done. Instead of having to dispose of the used diaper, it is washed and reused.
And as often as you want. Cloth diapers have a long lifespan and can even be used for the next child. I am currently diapering my second child with the cloth diapers I purchased for my first child, and they still look like new. It doesn't get more sustainable than this.
What Makes Judes Cloth Diapers So Easy?
The concept behind Judes is fully thought out. The focus is on making diaper changing as easy as possible. The cloth diapers consist of:
We have designed our diapers to perfectly fit the shape of your child's body. Thanks to the Velcro fastening, the cloth diapers are infinitely adjustable and can be changed quickly. Due to the good fit, you only need two sizes for the entire diapering period:
- Size 1 fits your baby from birth to 7.5 kg
- Size 2 fits from 7.5 kg to 15 kg
Used diapers are best collected in a suitable diaper bag. This ensures that enough air gets to the diapers, which minimizes odor formation and the wear and tear of your diapers. They are washed about every four days easily with a suitable detergent and are immediately ready for use again.
Can I Use Cloth Diapers on Vacation?
From my own repeated experience, the answer is a resounding Yes. Personally, I find cloth diapers even much more convenient on vacation than disposable ones. For one thing, I don't have to worry about where to buy suitable diapers. Because in foreign countries not only are the sizes different, but the ingredients may vary, which can lead to skin irritation. The next point is disposal. Instead of having to constantly look for suitable trash cans, I simply pack used cloth diapers into a small diaper bag.
The only point to consider with cloth diapers on vacation is that a washing machine must always be available. However, it is no problem to use a laundromat and you can find one in almost every country.
With cloth diapers, you don't have to worry about disposal, you combat the garbage problem of our earth and even do something good for your baby's skin.
Cloth Diapers: A Plus for Healthy Skin
Judes are gentle on skin. The organic cotton used is not only absorbent and soft, but also super breathable. This way you avoid unwanted skin reactions and prevent diaper rash. In disposable diapers, on the other hand, there is often a lack of air circulation, and the included super-absorber is made of pure chemicals (source). When you consider that children are typically in diapers for two to three years or longer, the advantages of cloth diapers become even more apparent.
Photo by @isabelplett
Cloth Diapers on Vacation - What Should I Consider?
If you remember all the important utensils, there's nothing stopping you from enjoying a vacation with cloth diapers. Below we summarize the items that should accompany you on your trip:
The Right Amount of Cloth Diapers
It's best to choose the amount of diapers you usually use and add about one to two extra diapers to that number. This way, you stay relaxed and are prepared for any eventuality. For a week on vacation, you will typically need five covers and about 25 inner diapers.
In addition to a washing machine and a suitable detergent, you should also consider the following materials:
- Diaper bags: Ideally in large and small sizes, so you can optimally store the diapers both at your accommodation and on the go.
- Diaper liners: These go on the very top layer of the diaper and catch your child’s stool. With our Poo Paper you can dispose of it conveniently and protect your diapers.
- Washcloths: To avoid even more waste and optimally care for your child's skin, our Washcloths are a great alternative to traditional wet wipes.
Tip: As a precaution, pack a clothesline. If no suitable dryer is available during your travels or in your accommodation, you can string it up anytime and anywhere to dry your diapers.
How do you deal with diapers on vacation? Do you find disposable diapers more convenient, or do you choose cloth diapers? Feel free to tell us in the comments!