Sam Judd

Comment on the environment from nzherald.co.nz columnist Sam Judd

Sam Judd: Plastic wrapped bottoms

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In New Zealand we use over 320 million nappies per year- around 875,000 stinking packets of plastic that end up in landfills every day. Photo / Thinkstock
In New Zealand we use over 320 million nappies per year- around 875,000 stinking packets of plastic that end up in landfills every day. Photo / Thinkstock

As a father-to-be, I am currently inundated by my partner with a huge list of what kind of baby gear that we are going to need.

The reality is that this is a multi-million dollar industry which plays on the idea that you must have the best for your offspring and these days parents are busy, so everything has to be convenient- especially if it means we don't have to suffer bad smells from dirty nappies.

But convenience comes at a cost. Our bank balance, the environment and those people who have to deal with our waste all suffer because it is easier not to have to wash linen during our busy days.

In New Zealand we use over 320 million nappies per year - around 875,000 stinking packets of plastic that end up in landfills every day.

Out of the millions of pieces of rubbish that we have removed from coastlines, nothing is more horrid than a used disposable nappy.

They are the bane of our waste stream: single-use plastic, pathogenic packets of human excrement that have made me violently sick in the past - I openly curse the careless people who dispose of them irresponsibly, especially on the coast.

Using disposable nappies costs a family around $3,000 per child - while cloth, re-usable ones will cost about $700 (plus laundry costs and a bit of elbow grease).

I can't understand why anyone would want to use disposable nappies in the first place. As a child, not one of these plastic wrappers touched my bottom.

One thing is for sure - no plastic wrappers will be touching my baby's bottom.

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