The Council of Ministers (COM) has agreed in its latest meeting that the use of diaper will continue until such time a solution is found.

The written record of the meeting states: “COM agrees that given that there is not yet any solution to the disposal issues of diaper, the use of diaper will continue until a solution is found.” The second phase of the ban on single-use plastic items which include disposal diapers was approved by the government, through COM last year.

COM then extended the phasing out of the use of disposable baby diapers from December 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.

This is to enable relevant government authorities to further consult with relevant business houses, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), civil society groups and communities that will be affected by the ban and help ensure a smooth transition from disposable diapers.

The Department of Environment as the implementing agency is conducting a nation-wide consultation on the decision to ban diapers. Diapers contains plastic and takes thousands of years to decompose. They are toxic to the environment and public health.

The use of reusable cloth nappies could be an alternative to the disposable nappy as they are eco-friendly.

While they are easy to use, there are concerns about disposable baby diapers not being safely disposed.

Apart from baby diapers, questions are also raised as to whether the phasing out of baby diapers will include adult diapers and items like sanitary pads as they also contain plastic.