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Appears in Collections:Biological and Environmental Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Open defaecation by proxy: Tackling the increase of disposable diapers in waste piles in informal settlements
Author(s): White, Hannah L
Mwapasa, Taonga
Mphasa, Madalitso
Kalonde, Patrick Ken
Feasey, Nicholas
Oliver, David M
Ormsby, Michael J
Morse, Tracy
Chidziwisano, Kondwani
Quilliam, Richard S
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Keywords: Child faeces
Environmental pollution
Environmental pollution
Faecal-oral diseases
Single use plastic
Sustainable waste management
Issue Date: May-2023
Date Deposited: 25-Apr-2023
Citation: White HL, Mwapasa T, Mphasa M, Kalonde PK, Feasey N, Oliver DM, Ormsby MJ, Morse T, Chidziwisano K & Quilliam RS (2023) Open defaecation by proxy: Tackling the increase of disposable diapers in waste piles in informal settlements. <i>International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health</i>, 250, Art. No.: 114171.
Abstract: Disposable diapers are becoming increasingly popular and present an emerging challenge for global waste management, particularly within LMICs. They offer a cheap and convenient way for caregivers to manage child excreta; however, insufficient understanding of safe disposal methods, combined with limited access to waste management services results in hazardous disposal. Used diapers are being increasingly found dumped in the open environment, including in water bodies and in open fields, leading to faecal contamination of the environment and an enhanced risk of transmission of faecal-oral diseases such as cholera and typhoid. United Nations SDG 6 aims to end open defaecation globally by 2030; however, improper disposal of used diapers will hamper progress towards reaching this goal. In this review, we identify current trends in use and subsequent disposal of single use disposable diapers in LMICs, and critically discuss the environmental and public health impacts of current practices, and potential solutions to address these challenges. Contemporary methods for managing the disposal of single use diapers for communities in LMICs tend to be cost prohibitive with few alternative options other than dumping in the environment. Modern cloth diapers offer a low waste alternative to disposable diapers but often carry an unaffordable high upfront cost. Here, in addition to advocating improved efforts by governments to upgrade access and quality of waste management services, we recommend the design and implementation of intervention schemes aimed to increase awareness of safe and hygienic disposal practices for disposable diapers.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2023.114171
Rights: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. You are not required to obtain permission to reuse this article.
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