The Science Behind Compostable Nappies: How Do They Break Down?
Having a baby is a rollercoaster of emotions. From the excitement of finding out you're pregnant to the overwhelming feeling of bringing a new life into the world, it's no wonder that new parents are constantly seeking the best for their little ones.
When it comes to diapering, we understand that it's no different. As a parent, you want to make sure your baby is comfortable, dry, and, of course, safe from any harmful chemicals.
Well, that's where eco-nappies come in. In case you’re unsure what these nappies are about, stop by our Introduction to Eco-Friendly Nappy Types first before you proceed!
To quickly recap, one of the main drivers of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions, which are released into the atmosphere due to human activities such as burning fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrial processes. While these activities are often seen as the main culprits of climate change, other, less well-known factors also play a role, including how we dispose of our waste. In particular–traditional nappies–which are made from non-renewable materials and take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills, are a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. This has led to the rise in the popularity of eco-nappies.
These environmentally friendly nappies have become increasingly popular over the years as more and more parents are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and minimise their impact on the planet. In the following paragraphs, we’ll do a deep dive into the nature of compostable nappies and answer the oft-asked question “But are eco-nappies really as eco-friendly as they claim to be?”
So, what’s special about compostable nappies anyway?
The Production Process and Results are Gentler on the Environment
The staggering volume of plastic-based disposable diapers that end up in landfills each year takes nearly 150 years to decompose. Even then, they release harmful chemicals and microplastics into the environment, threatening marine life and water sources. Ultimately, even when they do, they release harmful chemicals and microplastics into the environment, damage marine life and potentially contaminate the water.
When it comes to nappies, we know that achieving a zero carbon footprint is a tough feat. But fear not, because eco-friendly nappies are here to save the day! Our compostable disposable nappies are made with love using wood pulp, a breathable plant-based biofilm, and absolutely no oil-based plastics or harmful chemicals. They're made from renewable plant-based materials that are commercially compostable, so you can feel good about your choice knowing it's gentle on the planet!
By choosing our compostable eco-nappies and relying on Little & Brave's super-efficient commercial composting process, you'll contribute nutrient-dense organic matter to the soil instead of harmful chemicals. It's a win-win! And here's a fun fact: our nappies compost at the same rate as other organic matter, meaning they'll break down in just one compost cycle at commercial compost facilities.
Reducing Landfill Waste
As mentioned earlier, traditional nappies take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. By using an eco-friendly compostable nappy, made from renewable plant-based materials and commercially compostable, disposal is less harmful and can provide nourishment to the earth around us.
Reducing Carbon Emissions
In addition to reducing landfill waste, compostable nappies also help to reduce carbon emissions. When traditional nappies decompose in landfills, they release methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. By using compostable nappies and composting them instead, we can reduce the amount of methane that is released into the atmosphere, and in turn, reduce our carbon footprint.
Promoting Sustainable Production Methods
Compostable nappies are made from renewable materials, such as plant-based fibres and wood pulp, which are sustainably sourced and harvested. By using compostable nappies instead of traditional nappies, we can promote sustainable production methods that minimise the impact on the environment and reduce our reliance on non-renewable resources.
Encouraging a Circular Economy
Composting compostable nappies also helps to encourage a circular economy, where waste is viewed as a valuable resource that can be reused and repurposed. When compostable nappies are composted, the resulting soil can be used to grow plants and vegetables, which can then be composted again, creating a closed-loop system that reduces waste and promotes sustainability.
Tips for Using Eco Nappies
Proper utilisation and responsible disposal of eco nappies are essential elements in unlocking their full eco-friendliness potential. Adhering to usage guidelines, being mindful of contamination, monitoring moisture levels, and utilising diaper liners all demonstrate a thoughtful approach towards maximising the sustainability of eco nappies.
Choose a reputable brand:
When it comes to eco nappies, it's essential to choose a reputable brand that aligns with your values and needs. Look for certifications such as "compostable" or "biodegradable" to ensure that the nappies meet industry standards. Reading reviews and checking for endorsements from trusted environmental organisations can also help you make an informed decision too.
Follow the usage and disposal instructions:
Each brand of eco nappies may have different usage instructions, so it's essential to carefully read and follow them. This may include instructions on how to properly fit the nappy, how often to change it, and how to dispose of it correctly. Following the manufacturer's instructions will help ensure the nappy functions optimally and composts effectively. If you’re a user of Little & Brave’s effective eco nappies, be sure to stop by our blog post on how to compost with a baby at home.
Eco nappies are designed to be composted, so it's crucial to dispose of them properly! Many eco nappies can be composted in industrial composting facilities or home composting systems. However, it's essential to check the packaging or manufacturer's website for specific disposal instructions, as not all eco nappies are suitable for all types of composting.
Contamination can hinder the composting process and impact the effectiveness of eco-nappies. It's crucial to keep non-compostable materials, such as plastic wrappers or wipes, out of the compost bin. Make sure to remove any solid waste from the nappy and dispose of it in a sanitary manner before composting the nappy.
Monitor moisture levels:
Eco nappies compost best when they are not overly wet or dry. Monitoring moisture levels is crucial to ensure that the nappies break down effectively. If the nappy is too wet, it may become slimy and not compost properly. On the other hand, if it's too dry, it may take longer to break down. Consider using a moisture metre or simply paying attention to the moisture levels when composting eco nappies.
Consider diaper liners:
Diaper liners can be used with eco nappies to help capture solid waste and make disposal easier. They are typically made of biodegradable materials and can be placed on top of the nappy to catch any solid waste. This can help prevent contamination and make the composting process more efficient nappies properly.
The Bottom Line
By conscientiously incorporating these practices into daily routines, caregivers can make a meaningful and insightful contribution toward reducing their environmental footprint and fostering a more sustainable world for future generations to inherit. 😀
So, to simply answer the question, "But are eco-nappies really as eco-friendly as they claim to be?" - Yes, our eco-nappies are a genuine choice for environmentally conscious parents who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the planet.
Choose New Zealand’s most trusted eco nappies and rest with peace of mind knowing that you are making a responsible choice for your baby and the environment. Our nappies are thoughtfully made from renewable plant-based materials, commercially compostable, and free from harmful chemicals, offering a safer and greener alternative.