Disposable nappies review and compare

Our trialists put 14 disposable nappy brands and five different types of cloth nappies to the test.
 
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07.Eco choices reviewed

Eco-disposables

BamboIn our disposable nappy trial, we included three nappy brands that claim green credentials :
  • Moltex - certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia - 100% biodegradable outer lining and packaging, 40% biodegradable inner lining, chlorine-free and 50% of the material is made from renewable resources from controlled cultivation.
    Verdict: While this nappy is environmentally friendly it’s the most expensive nappy in our test, it’s performance is also comparably poor as it is the third last in overall performance.
  • Bambo Nature – certified by Nordic Ecolabel - biodegradable core with biodegradable starch granules, fully recyclable packaging, chlorine-free .
    Verdict: Environmentally friendly nappy, with 62cents per nappy considerably more expensive than the average nappy but cheaper than the other two nappies with green claims. With a 69% overall performance score it’s a reasonable choice – CHOICE recommends this nappy as Green Buy!
  • Seventh Generation is not independently certified and only deals with the environmental impact of chlorine bleaching.

There's now an Australian eco-disposable made by Eenee Designs, which we weren't able to include in this test as it needs a re-usable gripper belt for usage which is different to the other nappies tested. The Eenee Compostables have been endorsed by Compost Australia as being acceptable for Commercial Composting, or if just urine, they can be home composted. They are also accepted for the green organics bins by a number of councils.

 

 

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MoltexWhat to look for in an environmentally friendly disposable nappy

  • Third party certified by a reputable and independent organisation: brands included in our trial were certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia (Moltex), and Nordic Ecolabel (Bambo Nature). Although not an Australian logo, Nordic Ecolabel is a reputable scheme.
  • Chlorine free.
  • Renewable materials, biodegradable content.
  • ‘Ingredients’ noted, so you can avoid substances of concern to you, for example which you’ve discovered your baby’s skin is sensitive to.
  • Compostable packaging.

Transport – a less obvious environmental impact: The three eco-disposables tested are all imported (some of the others are imported as well), which partially negates some of their environmental credentials. However, Moltex claims to offset the emissions associated with importing the nappies. And there’s now an Australian eco-disposable made by Eenee Weenee, which we weren’t able to include in this test because of the way our user trial operates.

Ignore broad vague claims: check what environmental impact is actually dealt with and if the brand is third party certified by a reputable and independent organisation.

Prefer packaging that’s got ‘recycled content’ and is ‘recyclable’: A baby uses on average 6000 nappies until fully toilet trained. At a pack size of 45 nappies, that’s more than 130 packs of nappies, so at least choose a brand whose packaging has “recycled content” and is “recyclable”, and divert these bags to your recycling bin instead of landfill. Most are recyclable, but some aren’t. Check for the recycling loop. If its plastic, it needs to be a number inside the loop that your local council accepts for recycling.

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