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Seattle proposal to tax disposables is a good step in reducing waste

Posted by Bryana on 5/4/2007 to Cloth Diaper News

In one of my posts back in March I asked the question, "Are you trading trash for your personal convenience?" I wrote:

"There are battles after battles for where to place the newest landfills. No one wants them in their backyard - who can blame them - but it doesnt stop their usage of them. I take issue with that. If you are a mass contributor to the mess - then at least carry the responsibility."

As a very convenience-oriented nation we have a tendency to think "Next time" I'll recycle that. Or "just one disposable diaper per day isn't a problem - I don't want to cloth diaper my child!", but do we stop to consider that it isn't JUST ONE. It is our "one" and everyone else's "one" until that "one" ends up as tons... tons and tons of waste. And where does the waste go?

Right - in our already full landfills.

When it comes to making smarter decisions for our Earth, cloth diapering ranks high. Disposable diapers are the 3rd largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent 30% of non-biodegradable waste. That is a lot of trash. A LOT OF TRASH.

On April 16, 2007, reporter, Angela Galloway wrote about the city of Seattle's proposal to recycle 72% of its waste. The city is looking to apply a tax or a ban on everything from dinner scraps to disposable diapers and other not-so-green products.

For a 72 percent reduction of waste sent to the city's dumps -- nearly two-thirds more than its current rate -- this could keep Seattle from having to build a third dump.

"This is really a path toward sustainability," said Councilman Richard Conlin."

The problem I see with the plan is that in order for it to work, people - as in you and me - have to see beyond our personal convenience and our justifications and REDUCE OUR CONSUMPTION. I love the idea of a tax on disposable diapers, because it will make people think twice before purchasing them. Thinking twice is good. Thinking twice might just get someone to shop for cloth diapers and do a few extra loads a week of diaper laundry.

This isn't the first pitch for reduction of disposable diaper waste in landfills. Remember the diaper recycling proposal that was pitched?

The intent was to reduce waste going into landfills. Why? Because THIS IS A PROBLEM.

At some point we have to stop and consider - WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO to protect our children's future. Using cloth diapers - and encouraging the use of other sustainable products or recycling is a step. Take the step. C'mon, I'll hold your hand.