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Thread: Do unused diapers last effectively forever?

  1. #1

    Default Do unused diapers last effectively forever?

    So, I was watching a documentary recently about the problem of plastic in the oceans and how it's going to stay there for thousands of years because it doesn't break down, it's all non-biodegradable. And it got me thinking: does this mean that diapers could potentially last for thousands of years without degrading, assuming they're kept sealed and unopened in a cool, dry place? What if someone were to make a time capsule filled with diapers, seal it somehow, and then someone else were to open it 100 or 1000 years from now? Crazy idea, right?

  2. #2


    No telling how long diapers will last. Something tells me diapers will be against the law in the future. Can you imagine us smuggling diapers from somewhere from diaper dealers lol.

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  4. #4


    Considering all the waste we generate as a species, the next real technological breakthrough we need to come up with is a "reverse replicator" - a machine with a big chute on the top you toss in a full trash bag into, and out a bunch of little chutes at the bottom comes the carbon, the sulphur, the iron, etc. We've gotten so good at putting things together, but the science of taking things apart just hasn't kept up.

    Mark my words, at some point in the future, "dump mining" will be the most lucrative business on the planet. Because at that point, rare materials like gold, platinum, and copper will be in higher concentrations there than in any traditional ore mine.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by INTrePid View Post
    Does this mean that diapers could potentially last for thousands of years without degrading, assuming they're kept sealed and unopened in a cool, dry place?
    Although the plastic will likely last a good long time, the glue on the tapes will probably degrade much faster. I would think the pulp would also deteriorate pretty fast.

    So to answer your question, I don't think any diaper put away now will be usable in 100 years.

  6. #6


    the cotton is also not eternal either. And it depends how you store them. If you keep them sealed, they'll probably last your lifetime except maybe the tape glue. But if they are open to the air, you might eventually get mold or mites making their home in the cotton interior.

  7. #7


    If they were stored in a sealed container with an inert gas (argon or nitrogen I believe) they, or practically anything, would conceivably last indefinitely.

  8. #8


    stuff survived for thousands of years in tombs in egypt, and that's far from a hermetically sealed place. the key seems to be dry. very, very dry. No water, no humidity.

  9. #9


    I ordered some diapers a while back and they actually had a expiration date on the package they came in so I don't think diapers do last forever.

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