On Monday and Tuesday I attended the Pampers Mommy and Daddy Blogger Event 2.0 in Cincinnati. What a treat! I along with 12 other bloggers got a behind the scenes look at everything from the corporate culture at Pampers to the technology behind the products in the Pampers portfolio. There is a lot that I want to share about what I learned this week, but today since it is Earth Day I want to blog about disposable diapers and sustainability. Be sure to come back each day for the remainder of the week for new posts about my Pampers trip.
There is a great misconception that cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposable ones. Studies show that cloth and disposable diapers have equal the amount of impact on the environment. After all, it takes a lot of water and energy to heat water when you are constantly washing cloth diapers.
[As an aside, I was always a disposable diaper buying mom. It has been years since my daughters were in diapers, but disposable diapers and wipes made my life as a busy mother much easier. ]
Here are some basic FAQs about Pampers and sustainability. I think this information is important for all parents to know, especially as the environment becomes an even more important issue in all of our lives.
What happens to used Pampers diapers after they are thrown away?
Used Pampers diapers are safely disposed of with household waste. Depending on the municipality’s waste treatment system, a used diaper is usually transported for disposal into a landfill or incinerator. Once in the landfill, Pampers diapers behave just like other forms of household waste. They are readily compressed inside the landfill and occupy relatively little space. In an incinerator, they are burned with other trash and frequently, the heat is captured and used for energy.
Where does your pulp come from?
The pulp used in our diapers comes from softwood trees, like spruce and pine, grown in well-managed forests in North America. These trees are harvested as a crop, like cotton, in accordance with local environmental and legislative requirements. In some cases, we source our pulp from scrap wood chips from lumber and saw mills. Our pulp suppliers are required to be certified by an independent third party as practicing sustainable forestry.
Is the pulp bleached?
Yes, pulp is bleached to purify the cellulose in the wood so it will be absorbent. Our suppliers use elemental chlorine-free processes that do not result in the formation of dioxin or other pollutants from the former pulp-making process. In fact, in the U.S. pulp industry, elemental chlorine technologies were completely phased out by 2001 so most, if not all, disposable diapers are made in the U.S. with pulp bleached without elemental chlorine.
Are the synthetic materials used in Pampers diapers safe for the environment?
Yes. All of the synthetic materials used in Pampers diapers today are fully compatible with disposal with household waste and safe for consumers and the environment. When you dispose of your diaper, it will go into a landfill or incinerator. The plastic materials are compatible with these disposal options. The synthetic materials used in Pampers diapers are common materials frequently used in a wide range of consumer products.
You can read more about Pampers and sustainability at