From a Green Car Subsidy to a Green Diaper Rebate in Sweden


Swedes say cloth is more friendly - image via Imse Vimse.

In Sweden a motion has been submitted to Parliament to give families that choose cloth diapers for their newborns a $75 subsidy for their green efforts. A group of Swedish moms say the Swedish green car program was a huge motivator for people to purchase "ekobilar," and thus a green diaper program is a natural follow up. According to Marie Walleberg of the Imse Vimse cloth diaper company, in Sweden a switch to cloth could reduce the country's trash mound by 63,000 tons and take scores of trash trucks off the roads.


Diapers in the trash via IngaMun @ flickr.

Cloth diapers use more water, detergent, and time


Although there's always been a debate about whether the cloth diaper really is greener, Swedish calculations estimate that a disposable diaper uses three times more natural resources than a cloth diaper. In Finland, new parents get a start kit that has a cloth diaper but not a disposable. In somewhat typical Scandinavian fashion, the Finns even have a Cloth Diaper Organization to help new parents make the cloth choice by borrowing a set of test diapers. Courses also show parents how to DIY their own cloth diapers or diaper inserts. While there are bidoegradable diapers on the Swedish market, many of the different trash companies don't pick them up for composting and they must be thrown in the regular trash.

Green Diaper Rebate a Motion in Parliament
Imse Vimse, the Swedish diaper company, says parents should get their rebate when the go to buy (hopefully organic) cloth nappies. The green diaper subsidy motion, which hasn't yet made it through the Swedish parliament, states that each family would receive the subsidy immediately on purchases of cloth diapers or cloth diaper supplies of $140 or more. Since the Swedish government has already paid out over US$69 million in green car subsidies (the regular subsidy ended earlier than proposed this summer, cut city subsidies remain in place), Imse Vimse said the the $7 million for green diapers is a good investment.

Read more about the green diaper debate at TreeHugger
Now That's Poopy: Ebay Bans Reusable Diapers
Another battle in the war between cloth and disposable nappies
TreeHugger Picks: Dissin' Disposables

Tags: Babies | Diapers

Best of TreeHugger