Lu-Chin (Ada) Wang
Professor: John Irwin
T.A.: Thomas Rodengen
Words count: 2374
Abstract In the age of convenience market, single-use products stand out the way they have replaced multiple-use products for both functional and marketing reasons. Among those products, disposable diapers have achieved a remarkable success in the rise in sales and market share due to marketing strategy. The rise of disposable and the decline of the cloth diaper are striking in the substitution occurred as environmental impacts are emerging. The environment is now facing the problem of tremendous increase in the amount of land dumping; as garbage crisis begins to ripen, human beings start to find alternative ways in seek of reducing the load on landfills. It has been a prolonged battle on waste that humans have difficulty on winning along with economy facts.
•disposable diapers •cloth diaper •environmental impact •marketing strategy
Introduction When it comes to caring for the babies, most people want only the best for them. What people mostly likely to do with a dirty diaper is to get rid of it. According to Environment Canada, more than four million disposable diapers are discarded in Canada each day. The disposable diapers have become a multibillion-profit business in North America, with 1.49-million diapers sold in 2005 in Canada alone, according to Carlos Richer, a diaper industry consultant in Mexico. However, more and more parents have raised their awareness of the environmental costs from dumping diapers; the debate over choosing the disposable diaper or the relatively eco-friendly product-- cloth diapers has begun. In this paper, first of all I make a comparison between disposable diapers and cloth nappies by taking the campaign of “the mommy wars: cloth vs. disposable diapers” as an example to represent the pros and cons from both. Then I discuss about the environmental issues the disposable diapers have brought; and I draw the argument upon cloth diapers, by pointing out environmental impacts they cause. Secondly, I explain the reasons why people in general choose disposable nappies over cloth diapers by illustrating human beings behavior from a social science perspective.
Dirty diapers: Mommy’s war From a mother’s blog, Kirsten Dirksen, she mentions, “Being the '70s to the early '80s, my mother was an anachronism; at this point in the U.S., after over a decade on the market, disposable diapers had become the common choice, but my mother covered every single one of us six children in cloth. She wasn't part of any organized environmental movement, to her it was just common sense that a re-usable alternative had to be better than disposing of daily bin-loads of plastic” (2007), whose sister gets tired of washing cloth diapers; she has disposed of an average of 10 diapers daily for her two children with 2% of contribution to the U.S. garbage within two years. Knowing that every child goes through nearly 2000 pairs of diapers per year on average, many mothers have faced with the same question: whether to choose disposable ones for convenience reasons, or to keep trash out of landfill from choosing the cloth diapers. HubPages conducted a survey on Feb 2014 called: Mommy wars: Round Five: Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers; the purpose of this survey is to get opinions from mothers about which diapers they choose when covering up their baby’s bottom and catching bodily waste.
(Diagram 1. Retrieved from: HubPages- http://rgarnett.hubpages.com/hub/The-Mommy-Wars-Round-Five-Cloth-vs-Disposable-Diapers)
As the chart (Diagram 1) above shown, the result from this survey has signified a heavy lean to the disposable diaper arena in this battle with three times more than cloth diapers in the Mommy Wars. Therefore, I analyze the advantages and disadvantages from both