Nature's Mothers Blog

Childbirth, Parenting and Other Passions

How eco are eco disposable nappies? May 26, 2011

I used cloth nappies with my first, Erin.  I bought them second hand for £20 plus a few extra nappy covers off ebay and a couple of fleecy Lollipop nappies.  They were really great and I felt that they filled all the criteria:

  • they saved me lots of money (even though I spent considerably more on electricity & soap nuts),
  • they look gorgeous and you can choose loads of funky designs,
  • they are 40% kinder to the environment (disposables take 200 to 500 years to decompose, but electricity and detergents for cloth nappies are taken into consideration)
  • they are easy to use and comfy for baby
  • they are free of chemicals – much kinder to baby
However, this time around, and after a trial kit from the Real Nappy Project I decided to go with disposables (eco disposables, mind you).  My main reason was that we share a house and a washing machine with our own water supply from a spring, and I realised that I would have been hogging the machine and using a lot more water and electricity.  As it is with 2 children and life on a farm we could easily do a load a day.
The other, perhaps selfish reason was that I feel I simply don’t have enough time to be constantly washing and hanging out washing.  As a stay-at-home mother of two, who works on a farm in exchange for rent and a wonderful lifestyle, is doing yoga teacher training, and looking after a few websites as well as running Natures Mother…life is busy!  Living in a shared house is great in many ways but it also adds to the pressure, as we can’t just leave dishes to pile up, or forget the vacuuming for a few days.  Hubby and I get the chance to watch a dvd or favourite series about two or three times a week, to give you an idea of how much free time we have.
So the search began for the most eco-friendly and chemical free, but affordable, disposable nappy:
Moltex – currently at about £12 per pack (46 minis/ 42 midis/ 34 juniors). They are stocked in most health food stores, otherwise you have to pay postage to order them online.  They are:
  • Manufactured with more than 50% renewable resources from controlled cultivation
  • 100% Chlorine-free absorbent core and 20% of absorbent gel biodegradable
  • Fully biodegradable packaging
  • 100% biodegradable breathable protective film
  • Free from perfumes and lotions
  • Free from bleaching agents and toxic residues
  • Recommended for babies with eczema and skin complaints
Nature babycare – currently at £5.99 per pack from Boots (between 28 and 4 nappies depending on size)
  • 100% chlorine free
  • Based on biodegradable materials
  • Biodegradable back sheet film based on corn
  • 100% GM free
  • 100% biodegradable high loft
Sainsbury’s little ones eco nappies – very little actual info available online, but the info below is on their nappy pack. (£4.99 per pack  – 28 to 34 depending on size). It does not say anything about being biodegradable or free of chemicals, so for all I know they may be just as bad as a bag of pampers.  Packaging is plastic which is “recyclable at a larger Sainsbury’s.
The core in a baby’s nappy is made from a blend of absorbent materials, including fluff derived from wood pulp.  The FSC label on the little ones eco nappies is your guarantee that the wood pulp used in these nappies has been sourced responsibly, helping to protect the forest for future generations.
  • uses a minimum of 60% renewable plant based materials
  • Dermatologically tested
Beaming baby has recently launched its range of disposables – they sound fantastic! Have you tried them? Prices are at £3.99 for 20 minis, £7.99 for 40 midis, or 38 maxis. (There are other sizes)  You can buy them online or reduce cost of pricing and find your local stockist here
  • Over 65% biodegradable (including the packaging), that’s 40% more biodegradable than standard disposable nappies; the most biodegradable disposable nappy currently available in the UK.
  • Most of the nappy biodegrades within 4 years instead of the mind blowing 400 years that standard nappies are estimated to take!
  • They have a biodegradable water resistant outer sheet made with natural cotton and cornstarch paper.
  • The absorbent layer is fortified with 100% natural cornstarch.
  • The packaging is bio-degradable to further reduce the impact on the environment.
  • They use 30% less chemicals than standard disposable nappies and are kind to all babies; especially those with eczema or sensitive skin (try our Organic Baby Lotion and Organic Baby Wipes).
  • They form a naturally breathable layer against your baby’s skin; the top sheet is made with natural cotton and cornstarch fibres.
  • We infuse them with aromatherapy oils including chamomile and ylang-ylang to help protect baby’s sensitive skin and release a gentle scent.
Admittedly I was under the impression that Sainsbury eco nappies were an ok substitute if I could not get Nature baby nappies (Moltex being out of my price range), but after more research I think I will be popping into my closest stockist of Beaming Baby nappies!
After all, which mum who wants the best for their baby (the skin is a giant sponge, hence nicotine and contraceptive patches and aromatherapy) and the environment, would choose anything other then cloth or nice eco nappies?!

One Response to “How eco are eco disposable nappies?”

  1. John Partner Says:

    Like the section on how eco are nappies. I can tell you a little about the Sainsbury ones. The wood pulp is FSC sourced, but is bleached (V-bad), the outer is plastic and has no eco credentials, infact I have been wondering how they get away with calling them Eco.

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