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Earth Day and the Impact of Adult diapers

Posted Apr 22 2013 9:41am

Guest post by Mandy Harrell

With Earth Day and Arbor Day right around the corner, it’s time to start looking at ways we can help the environment.

There are steps caregivers and the more than 30 million Americans living with urinary incontinence can take to be more eco-friendly.

Adult diapers occupy more than 3 times the number of children’s disposable diapers – 7 percent of all landfills or 17.5 million tons of garbage are adult diapers, making it the third largest consumer item in U.S. landfills.

With 30 million adult Americans living with urinary incontinence and landfills overflowing (one so large it can literally be seen from space), something needs to change.

Whether light, moderate, or heavy incontinence, many people deal with these issues with disposable adult diapers. Although sometimes labeled biodegradable, this can be a cryptic word without a clear meaning.

According to the California Integrated Waste Management Board, not even biodegradable diapers break down in a landfill.

It can take up to 500 years for a disposable diaper to decompose. Not only that, but found that more than 82,000 tons of plastic and 250,000 trees are used to make disposable diapers each year.

Enter Wearever. Wearever offers an alternative that results in ZERO waste in a year compared to thousands of disposable diapers. It’s a line of men’s and women’s underwear that are washable and reusable, and feature an innovative absorbent pad. They work just as well as, if not better than, adult diapers for those living with urinary incontinence, but with the added benefits of better comfort (since they are made from cotton or similar fabrics rather than plastic), no embarrassment (since no one would know you are wearing them) and better for the environment. Even better, they save the average wearer about $500 a year over the cost of disposables.

The average wearer sends approximately 1,100 to 1,500 diapers a year to landfills. Multiplied by millions of wearers, that means billions of adult diapers each year.

When possible, elders and caregivers need to consider more environmentally friendly options. Using washable and reusable options won’t  contribute to daily waste. Next time you’re picking out incontinence products, consider the impact of one day’s worth of disposable diapers multiplied by millions of people. The impact on our environment is significant.

Mandy Harrell is the brand manager for Wearever. Wearever offers comfortable, quality, affordable and stylish apparel solutions for everyday health and wellness concerns. The men’s and women’s underwear line of washable, reusable urinary incontinence panties and briefs is especially beneficial for active individuals who want to continue their normal lifestyle without worry or emotional stress resulting from urinary incontinence.

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