the bottom line on disposables - water absorbent gel
By LAWRENCE E. JOSEPHSEPT.
1990 this is a digital version of an article from The Times Print Archive, before it starts online in 1996.
To keep these articles as they appear initially, the Times will not change, edit, or update them.
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Since the birth of a car, suburbs do not have a product that is so important to American lifestyles as a symbol of pollution and waste.
In 1970s and 80 years old, disposable diapers were as indispensable to working parents as "Sesame Street" and nervous carrots, suddenly becoming a bad boy in the post-90 s environment.
With the revival of the ecological movement and the rise of the right "green" consumer goods in the environmentand-
Chuck diapers have been attacked by a loose coalition of eco-scientists, politicians, and health people --care advocates.
The stigma extends to P & G, which actually invented the disposable diaper business and led the way for $3.
With its 5 billion market for Pampers and Luvs brands.
As a company dedicated to providing the public with the means to clean and take care of themselves --
From the female protective pad to the Zest deodorant soap-P. &G.
Customers cannot feel guilty about buying any of their products.
One day last spring, in the ivory room of a luxury private restaurant in P. &G.
Headquartered in downtown Cincinnati, a small group of executives gathered to assess the issue.
They helped themselves to a sandwich buffet, bypassed a large bowl of Pringles Cheez Ums chips and Duncan Hines chocolate cookies, and then settled down to discuss the company's largest public --
Since the 1980s S, the relationship has challenged when it relies on tampon and toxic shock syndrome.
"We don't think mothers are willing to give up one of the greatest new products of the post-war era," says Richard R . ".
Senior group vice president in charge of P. &G.
The company's global paper business and de facto diaper guards.
He stopped to dry steam a cup of coffee at home.
Why are they doing this?
There are many reasons for advertising, critics say, calling for the restoration of traditional reusable cotton diapers.
The estimated range of citations is from 3.
6 billion to 5 billion pounds of discarded diapers a year
One-time mobile toll paper-and-
Plastic diapers are choking landfill sites across the country.
They also claim that waste in diapers threatens the health of sanitation workers and threatens the health of the surrounding communities by immersing viruses and bacteria in groundwater.
About 24 states have enacted or proposed legislation to block or tax the use of disposable items.
Starting in October 1993, with further research by the state's director of environmental control, Nebraska will ban all disposable diapers that are not designed for rapid decomposition.
Eight other states, including California, Florida and New York, are also considering imposing bans.
This has not yet had a measurable impact on about 9% of households, home to diapers --age child.
Every day, parents and nannies will replace cloth with one-time cloth for more than ten times. (
In Western Europe, P. &G.
There is also a large existence, the number is often more;
The French use disposable items 98 times per 100 diaper changes. )
Nevertheless, the protests against diapers took place at P & G, the country's most important supplier of personal goods.
Nursing products are typical weak products: its share in the diaper market has dropped from about 70% a decade ago to less than 50% today.
During the same period, Kimberly's market share-
Clark's Big Mac has risen from less than 10% to more than 30%.
Meanwhile, diaper delivery services seem to be making a comeback in some metropolitan markets.
An aging population indicates a decline in the birth rate. &G.
Due to the decreasing number of baby buttocks, I can't afford a massive betrayal of cloth diapers. Which is why P. &G. is staging a P. R.
The counterattack under the leadership of nicolossi, there was another Gerald S on the lunch table.
Gendell, Manager, Corporate Public Affairs Department.
These methods include lobbying state councillors and giving presentations in front of consumer and environmental groups to promote the company's experiments in recycling and composting used and disposable items.
In a marketing campaign that is obviously P. &G.
The company has produced two kinds of six. page, four-
Color booklets and mailed to more than 14 million families from the beginning of the year.
A brochure called "diapers and the environment" with patience, primary --
High science text prose attempts to look at the environmental hustle and bustle: "in repeated studies, experts found that diapers account for less than 2% of the total solid waste in urban landfill sites.
This means that in the life of the landfill, diapers represent 10-year lifetime.
"Attached to the brochure: discount coupons for Pampers and Luvs. No
One-off mood is more ingrained than Seattle.
In this city where the environment is improving, a collection fee is charged to the householder according to the size of the trash can, and diapers are the subject of a major political controversy.
"With disposable diapers, the first lesson kids learn is that when you mess up your diaper, you throw it in the trash and it disappears.
Patricia Greenstreet, a Seattle lawyer and former registered nurse, claims that this information is simply wrong.
The King County Nurses Association in Seattle is the most influential voice in the city's diaper debate, and Green Street is the director of the association. The 2,400-
Member organizations distributed information leaflets weighing the pros and cons of each diaper
The balance is tilted towards the fabric.
Of the eight hospitals in Seattle with delivery rooms, six have been persuaded to resume using cotton diapers.
The other two are planning to join soon.
Nursing groups, hospitals and municipalities from about 30 states have asked Kings County groups for advice on steering cloth diapers.
The problem with Seattle nurse advertising is not baby comfort.
In fact, on the issue of diaper rashwhich diaper-
The courier company insists that the frequency of using diapers will be reduced --
The Seattle nurses did not take any position and the National Association of Pediatric nurses and the Association of practicing physicians agreed to the conclusion of P. &G. -
Funded medical investigation
The report, called "the cause of diaper dermatitis", found disposable diapers with high water absorption gel
Super Pampers is such a brand-
Keep the baby dry.
Nurses in Seattle blame one-off supplies in ecology and public placeshealth grounds.
Last year, with funding from solid waste utilities in Seattle, they commissioned their own diaper study to conclude that disposable items were more "aggravating the fact that we have overdone" than reusable products.
In addition, disposable diapers have potential risks for solidswaste workers.
In Kim county, including Seattle and its surrounding areas, the County Council held a hearing on a proposed regulation that states that it is illegal to put disposable diapers into trash cans unless feces are removed.
The decree was passed earlier in Seattle and was recognized by King County nurses.
The American Newspaper Association is a trade association that includes the American Newspaper Association. &G.
And other disposable items
Diaper manufacturers are calling for consumer education in the county rather than regulation of citizen bins. P. &G.
Each hearing sent its own representative and the company was ready to fight a one-off war on the entire land --
Sub-market if needed.
Scott Stewart, assistant to P & G, said: "P & G will provide data and technical assistance for diaper issues at any time . "&G.
Director of Public Relations at Gendell. P. &G.
Other manufacturers argue that there is no case of diaper-related disease in the landfill.
The manufacturer also pointed out that diapers do not have their own environmental costs.
According to Arthur D.
Small research sponsored by P. &G.
During the life cycle of cloth diapers, cleaning cloth diapers consumes six times as much water as one-time manufacturing.
It is speculated that the water pollution caused by laundry cloth diapers is nearly ten times that of disposable products.
No comparative study was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency. The E. P. A.
"It is generally supported to use cloth on disposable diapers because disposable supplies can cause so much solid waste," said Lynda Wynn, senior staff member of the E. s. municipal solid waste projectP. A. in Washington.
But Wynn continued. P. A.
It is considered that no study can be considered certain until a scientific and effective "product life assessment" method is designed.
For this purpose, E. P. A.
An advisory group of industry delegates, ecology and government experts will be convened to develop methods for assessing the environmental impact of various solid wastes. For P. &G.
It is better to have the jury still absent than the presumption of guilt.
The company is heartened by a recent report from the NPOV National Resource Protection Board, an influential environmental organization. The N. R. D. C.
The conclusion is that from an ecological point of view, there is no obvious advantage in both cloth and disposable items.
Both options will cost the environment, the report said. Support N. R. D. C.
Ongoing environmental research&G.
Earlier this year, the American charity foundation donated $5,000 to the Council.
The group returned the money politely.
The diaper dispute comes down to a philosophical question: the landfill is halfempty or half-full?
The parties agree that no more than 2% disposable diapers are shipped to U. S. landfill sites every year.
For friends of disposable products, 2% is a load that can be borne;
This number is ridiculously high for an uncontrollable force.
In order to reduce or eliminate the paper and plastic left by disposable diapers, a hypothetical solution has emerged.
Nebraska, which has a large number of potential landfill sites, has passed a law that allows only "biodegradable" disposable supplies to be used in the state after 1993.
Of course, it is the main corn producing area. growing state.
Corn starch is a key component of the plastic used in so-
Known as the biodegradable brandthe best-
Promote these are rabbits made of American environmental products.
The premise of this brand is that microorganisms will devour the corn starch adhesive in the material, allowing the separation of plastic polymer molecules.
Trace Minerals added to the plastic and then oxidized the polymer to parafin, which in turn-
The theory is-
Break down in the soil.
But critics believe that even corn cob will not be biodegradable in landfill sites without air or sunlight --
Much less plastic
Corn starch composite
P & G, in its direct-
The mail campaign refutes the ecological benefits of the so-called biodegradable. The N. R. D. C.
The environmental action Foundation and most other environmental organizations are also skeptical.
The environmental marketing task force, a coalition of attorneys general in New York, Texas, Washington and several other states, is investigating the marketing claims made by the US environmental company for its rabbits;
Earlier this year, the task force filed a lawsuit in several states banning Mobil from advertising its heavy garbage bags as "biodegradable ".
No wonder lawmakers in the state
Not part of the task force-
Their ban depends on further research on the "environmental impact and fat" of the biodegradable.
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Advocate another kind of ecological experiment loudly
A guerrilla battle was staged in the center of enemy territory Seattle.
Seattle baby diapers service
In the contract with Seattle City, by P. &G.
Sending trucks to 722 families and 33 days
The care center retrieved the soiled disposable items and shipped them back to 7,500square-
Foot recycling plant.
There, in a joint project with a company called Rabanco restocking, workers loaded dirty diapers into a device similar to a large food blender.
The machine cleans diapers and divides them into components such as plastic, pulp and absorbent gel.
Plastic reserved for recycling;
Disinfect the pulp.
Although the project is still in the trial phase, pulp is suitable for sale to paper mills. ''High-
High-grade pulp is a "cash" for disposable diaper recycling, said Nancy Eddy, a microbiology responsible for P & G's project.
But the company is still waiting for the market for recycled plastics.
"While it can be used for pots, garbage bags and other purposes, the price of recycled plastic --
When can you sell?
Still far below the cost of recovery.
"Even if the pulp market is mature, the current production level of the plant is unlikely to exceed the income of about $150 per day.
"At this point, we're just testing the system," said Eddy . ".
"Maybe it will be more suitable for other household paper products, even newspapers.
"For Gene Anderson, he's been recycling disposable diapers in Seattle for over a year, P&G.
Our project is purely grandstanding.
Anderson is 58-year-
Old owner of Anderson diapers service.
"Procter & Gamble fills our landfill every year with billions of diapers and tries to get credit for saving the world from disposable items!
Advertising Anderson diaper service allows customers to choose between a traditional cloth delivery of around $48 a month and a one-time service of $50.
For the 1,400 customers in the recycling program, Anderson diapers offer new private twice a month-
Label disposable items and collect dirty ones.
Back to Anderson's laundry facilities, dirty disposable items in an industry-
Strength of the washing machine.
The second machine then separates the pulp from the two Plastics
Polypropylene liner and polyethylene liner.
Workers pack the plastic and store it on the day the material market appears.
"I'm the only one who really did the work that everyone else, including the Seattle solid waste board, was talking about," Anderson said . ". P. &G.
Officials like to point out that Anderson is not really recycling anything;
The plastic sits in the warehouse and some valuable pulp is washed from the sewer.
Anderson heard it before.
"At least we left the plastic out of the landfill! '' he says.
"The pulp goes into the sewage system, which is where it belongs.
"So far, the diaper debate has not hurt P for all the noise and anger. &. G. financially.
In the early July s, many people
The chip company announced disappointing results, the company announced a fourth
Quarterly earnings rose by more than 66%.
This has limited revenue growth by nearly 33% in a fiscal year to $1.
Income was $24, or 6 billion. 1 billion. P. &G.
In other words, it can be discussed for a long time
Long-term solutions to its public
The relationship is in trouble.
Paper by Richard nicolossey
The product department manages forests around the world, saying that the final solution to the diaper dilemma may be on Earth.
Although many people think disposable items are made of plastic, they are actually about 65% high
Nicolossi told others at the table: "Grading the pulp by weight . ".
And you can compost that pulp. Inexpensively.
He continued: "European countries have been composting garbage for more than 20 years . "
Then replace the surface soil with tofu, fertilize tree farms and keep parks and roads green.
There is no reason in the world that we cannot do the same.
P & G did five times last year.
Test the project in St weekCloud, Minn.
With Recomp, a solid
Waste Compost Company
Weekly delivery of disposable diapers from 3,000 homes and during the day
Nursing Center in St
Paul, 60 miles away, the project engineer operated a system that chopped and recycled the plastic cover for each diaper, and then packed the dirty interior.
According to Nicolosi, the cost of composting in St
The average cloud is about $50 per ton.
Although this is higher than the whole country-
The average landfill cost per ton is about $30, well below the cost of metropolitan areas like New York, where it usually costs more than $100 per ton.
Nicolossi would like to know why more cities and towns do not object to disposable items, but do not put them into work.
The real problem is not what is consumed.
The real problem is its fate.
Disposable diapers start with trees and eventually become trees.
"The disposable diapers invented in Sweden after the war were brought to the United States by Johnson & Johnson in the 1940s.
The product is mainly aimed at traveling parents. there is a name called Chux.
Today's environmental activists must not be able to endure this ease.
Advertising, but Chux, like many other brands, belongs to the marketing giant of P & G.
Once Pampers gain a foothold in the medium term
In his 60 s, Johnson & Johnson is engaged in private manufacturing after retirement-
Label disposable supplies.
In fact, in the main companies that enter the competition --
Including Borden, Playtex, Scott and Union Carbide
The only truly lasting competitor&. G.
As the packaging facts are documented in diaper market research, a research institute in New York&G.
Before launching Pampers in 1961, they spent five years developing Pampers.
But this product is not doing well in Peoria. literally.
It is reported that consumers in the testing market in Illinois like the concept but are hesitant about it
The price of diapers for 10 cents (
About 40 cents today). P. &G.
Hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in Pampers production. By 1966, a sufficient number of diapers were produced, reducing the unit price to 6 cents.
Business is booming. Kimberly-
Manufacturer of Kleenex Clark
Brand facial tissue, entered the Diaper Derby in 1968.
Its Kimbies disposable products absorb more water than Pampers, and use innovative adhesive tape fasteners when Pampers still need pins. But P. &G.
It maintains its lead by regularly improving Pampers and launched the premium brand Luvs in 1976.
According to the fact of packaging, P & G occupied about 85% of the one-time market during this period.
Up to 1978, Kimberly-
Clark takes out a hug
Contour diaper with hourglass shape and elastic legs for close-fitting
P & G faces the first serious challenge.
1985 of companies account for 35% of the market.
After spending about $0. 5 billion in tech catch-up
Pampers and Luvs, P for the production of contours. &G.
In 1985, super Pampers opened up a new world in 1985.
The product contains a super
Water-absorbing gel capable of soaking in liquid more than 80 times the weight.
Because the new diapers need less pulp, they need less shelf space
It's a boon for retailers.
Because they fit better and dry, babies can walk longer between changing diapers.
Seven months later, according to the fact of packaging, super Pampers won 100 million of the one-time market and advertising revenue was $ 15%. Even so, P. &G.
The current overall share is only slightly higher than 50% per cent;
In the continue mode, P. &G.
Brands seem to be competing with each other. Kimberly-
Clark, both at the time and now
1/3 of the market, curious about Supertrims, is more curious and hot than the old, leak-proof.
Some of them are identifiable improvements and others are obvious packaging strategies
Both sides continued.
Luv and curious about the gender on the market now
Specific models, involving differences in the placement of absorbing materials.
There are Disney characters on the belt of Pampers, Luvs have puppets of "Sesame Street" and Hugo Gies have non-
Along the way, Kimberly
Clark and P & G sued each other eight times for alleged patent infringement.
Several of these proceedings have been dismissed by the court and other cases are still pending.
Neither side has received a penny so far. -L. E. J.
A subtle sale, says David A: It's A bit like buying A condom for adults '. Weiss.
"A lot of potential customers just find adult diapers too awkward to buy, so they don't have adult diapers or something else that doesn't work either.
Wes is the president of packaging fact, a company that studies disposable items for adults and babiesdiaper markets.
The sensitivity of the subject may explain why P & G has so far been carefully passing through the market.
The company is the leader in the $0. 2 billion market for selling disposable underwear to nursing homes and hospitals.
But in terms of retail, Kimberly
Clark has shown greater willingness to advertise.
Thus, $0. 3 billion, P. &G.
Second place not used
Adult incontinence products are mainly in hospitals-
Not until 1979, when P. &G.
Introduction to the incontinue briefing, basically adults-sized Luvs.
The company quickly occupied about 60% of the institutional sector.
But it carefully approached the retail space through magazine advertising and-for a time -
Catalogue of Sears and Roebuck.
Clark, which launched its Depend Fitted briefing in 1983, TV commercial blitz, continues to lead a positive life with attractive seniors fishing, jogging and other ways.
In June, 66-year-old actress Liao SHA served as a celebrity spokesperson for Depend.
"In the end, protecting mom and I can both live together," wrote a magazine advertisement for the alousha campaign, evidence of a subtle elimination of incontinence in the consumer market.
Ironically, the embarrassment of the same suppression of the market seems to be protecting adult diapers from environmental protection.
Adult disposable items are rarely mentioned in the landfill dispute
Even if these products may account for 15% of paper and plastic waste in disposable diapers.
In Seattle, the Kings County Nurses Association recently announced plans to study the issue, but any movement aimed at turning African adults into cloth is likely to be low-key. -L. E. J. Lawrence E.
Gaia: the growth of an idea Joseph wrote about business and the environment in Brooklyn, New YorkY.
A version of this article appears on page 6006027 of the National edition on September 23, 1990, with the title: Bottom line for disposable items.