Advice on using biodegradable nappies on your baby, degradable nappy benefits and how environmentally friendly they really are.
Current statistics estimate that disposable nappies account for over 50% of the rubbish made by a one child family and contribute to approximately 4% of the UK's total waste. As disposable nappies may take up to 500 years to degrade and relase potentially toxic chemicals during the process, we are only just becoming aware of the environmental impact their widespread use may have.
Although many families are now choosing to use reusable cloth nappies, they are not always the most practical option especially if you are travelling, do not have much space in your home or use a childminder who prefers to use disposables. Biodegradable nappies provide a solution to this problem.
The majority of biodegradable nappies can be composted, come in biodegradable packaging and are available for use with biodegradable wipes and nappy bags so that the whole nappy changing process can be tailored to minimise the impact on the environment. Additionally, as many biodegradable nappies are made from recycled materials, are free from chemicals and are unbleached, they are also kinder to the environment in terms of both their production and their ecological impact as they decompose.
Many regular disposable nappies contain absorbant gel to draw moisture away from your baby's skin. There are several biodegradable nappies on the market which use cotton padding as a replacement and their use can help to limit the number of chemicals your baby is exposed to. However, the cotton padding may make the nappy more bulky in comparison although they are still usually slimmer than reusable nappies.
As biodegradable nappies are not mass produced to the same extent as disposables and use different, more environmentally friendly processes, they do tend to be more expensive, although the price is begining to come down. Additionally, when purchasing a biodegradable nappy it is important to check that all of the nappy is biodegradable and not just certain components, so you can be sure you're getting the most environmentally friendly product for your money.
It is also important to be aware that as biodegradable nappies are not bleached this means that they are often beige in colour instead of the white we are used to. As biodegradable nappies do tend to be a more expensive option, they can be used in conjunction with reusable nappies as no matter how good your intentions, there are times when using a cloth nappy is not an option.
For those with an ecological conscience, biodegradable nappies strike a good balance between convenience, environmental friendliness and consideration of your baby's sensitive skin.
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