Since the explosion of an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana two weeks ago, there have been intense conversations about potential impacts of the oil spill on life in the Gulf of Mexico and livelihoods along the coast. The conversations about energy have expanded to acknowledge costs that are often hidden. Now, it looks like we may even see those previously externalized costs included in the equation when we talk about energy.
When we talk about oil and gas, we also need to bring into the conversation those products made from from oil and gas.
So, let’s talk about throwaway plastic diapers. Plastic is made from oil and gas. Any discussion of the total impact of disposable diapers must consider the impact of the external costs, including oil exploration and the occasional massive disaster.
This oil spill is one of the external costs of disposable diapers and other plastic products.
When you see a massive oil slick, ask yourself whether the choice to throw away plastic underwear is worth this. I don’t think so.