Sam Judd

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

Sam Judd: Plastic wrapped bottoms - Round 2

144 comments
I applaud users of modern cloth nappies, your children and theirs will thank you long after you have gone. Photo / Thinkstock
I applaud users of modern cloth nappies, your children and theirs will thank you long after you have gone. Photo / Thinkstock

It seems that what we do with babies' bottoms is a very touchy subject indeed.

In response to many of you who commented on my piece last week- yes, I will be changing nappies for my own child and no, I will not be using disposable diapers, until, perhaps, a system that can compost them arrives in Auckland. And even then, I won't be using chemical-ridden disposable nappies that rely on precious non-renewable resources.

Aside from being shocked at so many of the comments, I was surprised that those of you in favour of disposable nappies justified your choices by:

a) Assuming that because I am a man I won't be changing nappies. Wake up. It takes two to raise a child just as it does to make one.

b) Claiming to be so busy that you cannot spare 10 minutes to wash nappies. You are not busy, but lazy. In the time it took to write a comment, you could have probably put on a load of washing.

c) Being so ill-informed that you think the chemical impact and water use of reusable nappies impacts the environment more than disposables. Try looking at soap nuts that harvest the rainwater from your roof.

d) Ignorant in the fact you think the millions of disposable chemical-ridden plastic nappies that go into landfills every day won't somehow negatively impact the rest of us. I suppose you think it doesn't matter so long as you don't have to deal with it after you throw it in the bin.

At least R2D2 who commented that: "The environment can kiss my ass" was being honest to themselves and everyone else.

Believe me, fresh baby poo is a far cry from the filth that people throw onto our coastline. We regularly remove used condoms, used tampons, used syringes, asbestos and even animal carcasses that people have stolen, butchered, then wrapped in plastic and dumped on the beach.

I have sifted through thousands of maggots while collecting data on rubbish so that we can find out why people are littering and braved the stench of many a transfer station when disposing of the waste that people drop on the street.

Last week, my colleague Chris dry retched for over an hour after coming across an old nappy while collecting data from rubbish that a hardy team from OCS picked up from Motutapu Island with us.

Last year our team braved torrential rain in Napier along with stars from Fly My Pretties and cleaned up the port area. We found pestilent old nappies that people had just dumped. Pathogens escaped from the festering mess and had me bedridden, vomiting and deploring the people who were so uneducated and irresponsible to cause such pollution.

Here's news for those of you that think it is OK to use disposable nappies, wrap them up with convenient sticky bits and pop them in the bin: you are breaking the law.

You are meant to scrape the poo into the toilet first and then throw the single use plastic into the landfill. So add that to your time-pressed daily routine.

Aside from costing big money, damaging the environment and making other people have to smell your child's excrement the ultra-modern, super-absorbent nappies of today actual make potty training take longer for children.

In 1957, before the advent of disposables, 92% of children in the US were toilet trained by 18 months of age. Now, the average is 35-39 months, because modern disposable nappies make children feel as if they have not actually wet themselves. Do you want an extra year of nappy changing or your child to toilet train sooner?

To all those who expressed support- that are making the effort for the planet now- I applaud you. Your children and theirs will thank you long after you have gone, while generations from now, our offspring will still have to deal with the single use plastic that the rest of you use every day.

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