According to the city of Montreal
- A baby uses between 5,000 and 7,000 disposable diapers, which produce approximately one ton of waste.
- In Québec, 600 million diapers per year are disposed of in waste disposal sites.
- Globally, an estimated 18 billion single-use diapers are thrown in landfills each year
- Each disposable diaper has an average useful life of less than 5 hours and will take between 300 and 500 years to decompose in the environment. So far, no disposable diapers produced and disposed of since being launched on the market have yet decomposed.
- Disposable diapers represent the third largest consumer item in urban waste disposal sites and commonly contain raw, untreated sewage.
- It takes a full cup of crude oil to make the plastic for one single disposable diaper.
- In Canada, over one billion trees are cut down every year to produce disposable diapers.
- To produce disposable diapers, it takes 3½ times more energy, 8 times more non-renewable raw materials and 90 times more renewable materials than cloth
- Contrary to popular belief, cloth diapers consume approximately two times less water than disposable diapers: Cloth diapers require 83 m3 of water to produce and wash for 2-3 years, whereas it takes 120 m3 of water to produce one single disposable diaper.
The average cloth diaper is used between 100 and 150 times as a diaper, and then retired. Retired cloth diapers are in high demand and have a second lifecycle wherever soft, lint-free rags are needed.
Furthermore, washing cloth diapers at home uses 50 to 70 gallons of water every three days – about the same as a toilet-trained child or adult flushing the toilet five to six times a day. Our service puts the diapers through an average of 13 water changes, but because of the economies of scale, uses less water and energy per diaper than one laundry load at home1. The waste water produced from washing our diapers is benign since we use a chlorine neutraliser, while the waste water from the manufacture of the pulp, paper, and plastics used in disposable diapers contains dioxins, solvents, sludge, and heavy metals.