In the UK, 3 billion soiled diapers go to waste every year, with each diaper taking up to 500 years to decompose. Thankfully, more companies are developing reusable and disposable eco-friendly nappies – but both still impact the environment differently.
Reusable, washable cloth diapers are cheap, more comfortable for your baby’s bum, and are usually made from cotton. However, some cloth diapers are still lined and covered with nylon to make them “waterproof”, which isn’t biodegradable. Plus, they add to the laundry pile.
While disposable diapers are more “wear and throw” they are typically more convenient because parents do not have the time of day to replace the inner linings of reusables, wash and sanitise the used nappies, etc. In addition, we believe some companies that offer eco-friendly disposable diapers need to have their claims scrutinised.
Parents have much to consider when choosing products, each of which has its own unique circumstances. A product that works for one parent, may not always work for another, and we are not here to judge! That’s why Viable.Earth is sharing a range of eco-friendly nappies you can choose from – including reusable, biodegradable and compostable.
Eight awesome eco-friendly nappies available in the UK
The UK diaper brand claims to be 77 per cent biodegradable, with the nappies made from chlorine-free cotton lined with cornstarch paper. However, the velcro patch and elastic waistband are made from recycled plastic.
According to the company, it is currently constructing a wind farm to use as an energy source and make its manufacturing process more sustainable.
Brighton-based Pim Pam offers a wide range of reusable nappies. The brand was launched in 2020 by mom and entrepreneur Aless Baylis for her love for sustainable products.
Pim Pam nappies are washable and reusable, with a waterproof outer, a fleece lining, and absorbent cotton inserts. Each nappy has a back pocket to stuff inserts.
According to the company, the reusable nappies can be used until your child doesn’t need to wear diapers any longer and save up to hundreds of disposable diapers from going into the bin.
The maker of Cheeky Panda shared that it has three goals in mind:
- Save trees.
- Use bamboo in abundance.
- Create products that are kind to the skin and the environment.
Cheeky Panda diapers are made from naturally hypoallergenic bamboo fibre and are 100 per cent biodegradable and fully recyclable. Even the packaging is made from bamboo, which the company said is to reduce excess waste.
Bambino Mio is an award-winning diaper brand available in 50 countries and one of the world’s biggest reusable nappy brands. The company’s mission is to ensure every parent and child can access affordable yet stylish reusable baby products.
Bambini’s nappies are made from 100 per cent fabric and are designed to be used repeatedly. It claims to be free from plastic found in single-use, and some reusables to make the diaper waterproof.
Kit and Kin is a UK nappy brand that offers reusable cloth diapers and disposables. Its disposable nappies are great for the environment because of their 100 per cent sustainable materials.
To make it absorbent, the diaper uses plant-derived bio-based gel with FSC-certified wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. At the same time, the top layer, outer lining, leg cuffs, and packaging are all made from compostable materials.
In addition, the nappies are made in a certified carbon neutral factory.
Australian-made Ecoriginals offers disposable nappies that are 90 per cent biodegradable, with outer packaging made from 100 per cent compostable materials. According to the company, it aims to be fully biodegradable by next year.
Eco by Naty is a 100 per cent compostable disposable nappy made from plant-based materials. Its absorbent layers are made from FSC-certified wood pulp, while its top sheet up to its bottom sheet layer is made from plant-based polyethylene.
The brand has taken pride in being sustainable since 1994.
Besides selling absorbent period underwear for adults, Modibody offers reusable cloth eco-friendly nappies for babies, made from bamboo fabric and with antimicrobial properties to help neutralise odour and bacteria.
What’s great with Modibodi’s reusable nappies is their “one-size-fits-most” design which the brand has tested to fit babies from 5kg to 18kg. The diaper is fully adjustable and meant to “grow with the baby” or be handed down to future siblings.
Making the switch
There’s no getting around it. Diapers take a toll on the environment. However, parents can make the “better choice” for the planet and their child’s future should they wish to. But beware: before purchasing a product, check if it is truly eco-friendly. Sadly, some brands take advantage of the green movement with greenwashing.