Eco-Disposable Nappies & Pads
1 CommentFriday, 17 July 2015
Weenees, Flip Inserts
These disposable pads provide a halfway house between real nappies and disposables. Where concern for the environment is more of an issue than cost, some people use them full time - however, they are around twice the cost of premium disposables, so they are by no means a budget option (and this does not include the cost of the wraps which are needed to hold the pads in place). Also, to be honest, if your main concern is for the environment, it does not really make sense to buy a disposable product which is shipped from Australia!
However, they are also useful for holidays or days out, used with either the Weenees pant or other Velcro wrap such as the Rikki, and for night time extra absorbency inside any nappy. If your concerns are more on the chemical side, you should be aware that the Weenees pads do contain a small amount of sodium polyacrylate, which is why they do not require a separate stay dry liner on top. However, this is nothing like as much as in disposables. They do not expand with gels when full with urine, like disposables do.
Very heavy wetters may find that the pads do not last very long. These pads can be difficult to source. If you ask about Weenees at your chemist, they will be able to check with their wholesaler as to whether they can stock them.
The pads can be disposed of on a compost heap or in the bin. They are supposedly also flushable, but you have to be very careful about tearing the pad, emptying all contents into the toilet and not flushing until wallpaper paste consistency is reached. In view of the steps that need to be religiously followed, I cannot personally recommend flushing for disposal, given the Victorian state of the UK sewerage system.
Before disposing of the pad, you should always shake off any poo into the toilet, so that this can be flushed away. Hold the pad from one of the edge flaps to do this.
It has to be said that we used to include packs of Weenees pads with the Early Days Hire Wraps, to ease the transition to cloth. However, all we found was that the lack of containment of the pad simply speeded up the switch to the reliability of shaped cotton nappies. Two people disliked them so much, they paid to send them back to me, despite the cost! Hence why we no longer stock them.
Bumgenius Flip nappies also has the option of using these pads but they have the same containment/absorbency issues as the Weenee pad. The Flip Inserts are Oeko-Tex 100 certified and made of:
- Non-woven bamboo viscose, 5g
- Wood pulp, 14-15g
- SAP, 3g
- Starch-based glue, 1g
Moltex Oko Eco-Disposables
These are produced according to the most eco-friendly principles (and have won environmental awards in Germany) and are unbleached. They do contain some superabsorbers, mostly cellulose rather than the synthetic polymers in modern disposables, and so they do not "puff up" when wet. Cost-wise, they have gradually become more expensive than standard disposables, and so The Nappy Lady no longer stocks them. However, you can obtain them from healthfood shops. From a landfill point of view, they are no different from a conventional disposable.
Tushies Gel & Perfume-Free Eco Disposables
Gels and perfumes generally are associated with increased rates of asthma and eczema. The absorbency in this nappy is provided by cotton wadding rather than superabsorbers, and so they are bulkier than the Moltex Oko. From a landfill point of view, they are no different from a conventional disposable.
Nature Boy/Girl Disposable Nappies
This is the most environmentally-friendly option available in the supermarkets. These claim to be 70% biodegradable (around 30-35% of conventional nappies' dry weight is biodegradable). However, the real environmental cost of disposables occurs in the production of them rather than the disposal of them, and I have no information about how eco-friendly these are when looked at from that point of view. Probably not very, otherwise they would be making a song and dance about it on their advertising! However, they have the advantage of being readily available at no postage cost.
Bear in mind, though, that the landfill issue is probably not as straightforward as you might imagine - check out the Information section of this site.