Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

In My View

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

In My View

Article excerpt

Byline: By Robert Handyside

I'd finish your breakfast before you read on. I have some disturbing news. The disposable nappy is now the single most popular item of household rubbish. It is the greatest threat to life on our planet.

When the human race disappears and aliens land on Earth they'll be confused. The extra-terrestrial archaeologists will drill down and take cores from Earth landfill sites. They'll make a grisly discovery (of course, they'll probably send in robots to do their dirty work; advanced civilisations don't like getting their hands mucky).

You can imagine the scene: the alien robots dig down.

They find a few dinosaur bones, a couple of Roman coins andaa.a 25ft foot deep layer of half-decomposed disposable nappies.

"What on Earth happened?" they'll ask themselves. "Did the dinosaurs eat the Romans? Did dinosaurs wear nappies? Were nappies an intelligent life form?"

That would be ridiculous. If they'd travelled across the universe they'd be smarter than that. They'd quickly come to one inescapable and sickening conclusion.

That humanity was overwhelmed by a global incontinence pandemic and had to evacuate the planet.

The fossil record will show that previously there was no evidence of widespread human incontinence. Sure, it happened from time to time, but it happens.

Then, within a few short years countless billions of disposable diapers were manufactured in a futile attempt to stem the tide of waste that engulfed the whole world (the extra-terrestrials would assume, wrongly, that humans were about a foot and a half long and moved on all fours in a sort of "crawling" motion).

They'll have conferences on the subject. "Asteroid impact or human digestive system breakdown ( What ended life on Earth?"

Is this just idle scaremongering or a vision of hell?

I'll leave others more qualified than myself to discuss the merits of reusables versus disposables. I think we need to go to the root of the problem. Why is one of the most popular brands called Pampers? Who exactly is being pampered here? The nappy changer, certainly.

Let's be frank. No-one is going to volunteer to wash nappies. …

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