Nappy War gets Dirty - Green Party - 25 July 07

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Nappy War gets Dirty - Green Party - 25 July 07

Post by Stacey » Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:08 pm

Nappy War gets Dirty

Nandor Tanczos MP
Green Party Spokesperson on Waste
25th July 2007

Nappy War gets Dirty

Green MP Nandor Tanczos is reminding parents and local governments that the advantages of cloth nappies still far outweigh the disadvantages.

“Some disposable nappy producers have been reigniting the debate off the back of an outdated British study. These reports seem to have prompted Wanganui Mayor Michael Laws to contribute with his usual perspicuity, by claiming that it is “ridiculous” for parents to be environmentally aware,” Green Party Spokesperson on Waste Nandor Tanczos says.

“Michael Laws, the leader of an organisation with significant statutory responsibility for waste minimisation, is a bit of a flat earther when it comes to the environment,” says Nandor.

Kerbside recycling was ended by Laws and his council in 2004, but the council is reviewing the decision after strong public support in a public referendum. The 2007 referendum showed 66 percent of respondents wanted kerbside recycling brought back.

“I reckon that Wanganui residents should send him a disposable nappy to demonstrate their support for kerbside recycling. I thought a nappy would be appropriate because of his infantile and uninformed comments about cloth nappies in the Sunday Star Times recently.

“Not only was the UK Environment Agency study questioned at the time, leading to a follow up study expected this year, the 2005 study showing that cloth nappies and disposables have similar environmental impacts just does not apply here. Yes, there are impacts from the use of cloth nappies, mostly in the form of energy use. But New Zealand electricity is generated from renewable sources to a far larger extent (70 per cent) than in Britain. Also, nappies only need to be washed at between 40 and 60 degrees and most New Zealanders don't iron them. In fact with modern fitted reusables, ironing is irrelevant, and washing every use is not always necessary - the outers can be used multiple times by just changing the soiled inner.

“The point is, the environmental impact of reusables can be reduced significantly by how parents use them. The impact of disposables is more or less fixed, and can only be addressed by reducing the possibly million or so disposables landfilled every day in New Zealand.

“At the end of the day, mixing a compostable/treatable waste with an effectively unbiodegradable one is a bad idea, and alternatives such as the project of South Taranaki District Council (that Mayor Laws so readily attacks) should be encouraged,’ Nandor says.

“As well as the environmental aspect, reusables are just way cheaper for parents. It’s a win-win situation,” says Nandor.


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