Disposable nappies are a thorny issue. Traditionally made from plastics and some pretty harmful chemicals, they became popular in the 1950’s, freeing new moms from the grind of sanitising and washing cloth nappies. They quickly became the nappy of choice for generations to come.
But convenience comes at a significant environmental cost. Each disposable nappy will take over 1 cup of crude oil to manufacture and 500 years to breakdown once they make it into landfill. And according to Sustainability Victoria, over 2 billion nappies reach landfill in Australia every year. That’s a lot of nappies (containing a lot of poops) and each one has the potential to send over 100 different viruses to nearby groundwater. Not fun statistics!
Greenwashing is everywhere, so you don’t get caught, here is what to look for when deciding on a your eco-brand :
% Composability / biodegradability
Good eco-friendly nappies have at least 70% composability or biodegradability. Make sure any claims are backed up by certification. Be wary of brands that claim 100% composability – it’s just not possible with current materials available.
What eco-credentials do they have?
Look for SGS certification (confirming biodegradability rate) and FSC certification (confirming use of sustainable forests).
What material is used in the absorbent core?
Look for brands that use FSC approved bamboo or wood pulp.
Any Nasty Chemicals?
Look for the OEKO-TEX standard, for peace of mind.
What Packaging do they Use?
Packaging made from PLA (corn starch) or D2W is compostable. Be aware of craft paper, it is often lined with plastic. If ordering online, check if you order is delivered in compostable packaging.
Are they charging a Green tax?
Look for Brands that don’t charge extra simply because they are offering eco-friendly products without adding any extra value.
So the bottom line (pun intended) is you can enjoy the convenience of disposable nappies, while taking a stand against plastic pollution and waste, and still giving your little bundle of joy a comfortable, dry bottom!