Ocean Blue News Blog
In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 4.3 million tons of disposable diapers are used every year. By Karisa Boyce
Most us of live full and busy lives. We have grown accustomed to convenience, and with that comes convenience items: stuff. Stuff that is polluting our oceans.
In 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 4.3 million tons of disposable diapers are used every year. Over 4 million tons of wood pulp and plastic materials in diaper form catch and concentrate in landfills annually. 4.3 million tons. Every year. Let that sink in and we need a new blue deal!
Now let’s talk about solutions. One passionate woman from Corvallis, Oregon strives to turn this number around. Julianna Elligsen is giving people across Oregon’s Willamette Valley hope for the future. A future that she sees is embracing the ways of the past.
Not so long ago, mothers were cloth diapering their babies’ bums. It was not until 1948 that Johnson & Johnson first began to mass market a disposable diaper in the U.S. By 1970, 350,000 tons were tossed each year. By 1980 that number grew to 1.93 million.
The diapers being thrown out in the early 21st century will be done biodegrading in the year 2500. But not Julianna’s diapers. Her company, DiaperTails, is making waves right now.
Business for DiaperTails has tripled over the last three months and what began as one woman’s passion to help busy modern parents enjoy a more sustainable lifestyle is now developing into more than just a cloth diaper service. DiaperTails also sanitizes cloth menstrual pads and family wipes.
Conventional tampons and pads also account for a large amount of waste and can wreak havoc in sewage pipes. A local Portland company, so fittingly called GladRags, has been fighting waste with an extremely comfortable and soft cotton pad. GladRags handmade pads come in a variety of designs and absorbency levels to accomodate any need that may arise during a woman’s monthly menstrual flow.
Both companies may not be entirely about ocean conservation, though both DiaperTails and GladRags offer an eco-friendly product that we never find on the beach at a coastal cleanup - because they’re reusable! From Oregon, where these companies are making waves, Ocean Blue hopes to one day see Pacific Ocean wind and waves that move faster than the plastic.