Plant-Based Diapers: The Future Of Sustainable Baby Care

  • By: Gian
  • Date: June 19, 2022
  • Time to read: 10 min.

There’s a new trend in the baby care industry, and it’s all about eco-friendly disposable diapers! They are made from sustainable and biodegradable materials like bamboo and cornstarch, which make them environmentally friendly.

Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re also healthier for your baby. In this guide, we’ll discuss the benefits of eco diapers and why you should switch to them!

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Are Diapers Made from Plant-Based Materials Considered Eco-Friendly Diapers?

There is no clear answer, as non-toxic disposable diapers come in a variety of materials and styles. However, some people believe that plant-based materials are more environmentally friendly than a traditional disposable diaper.

Cloth diapers are another eco-friendly diapering option, and they have been gaining popularity in recent years. Although they require more effort to use, cloth diapering can be reused multiple times and is often considered more eco-friendly in the long run because they are made from renewable resources.

Ultimately, it is important to do your own research to determine which eco-friendly diaper option is best for your family.

Are Disposable Diapers Bad for the Environment? 

You might be surprised to learn that the answer is yes, disposable diapers are bad for the environment. Let’s take a closer look at why traditional diapers are harmful to our planet and what we can do about it. 

Reusable diapers are better for the environment, but perhaps you’ve decided they don’t fit your lifestyle.

They Take Up a Lot of Space in Landfills.

Yes, conventional diapers take up a lot of space in landfills.

About 20 billion disposable nappies are used in the U.S. each year, which is about one diaper per child per day from birth through age three. And over 80% of these diapers end up in landfills.

Disposable nappies can take 500 years to decompose, and they are the third-largest single consumer item in landfills. They also generate 60 times more solid waste and use 20 times more raw materials, like crude oil and wood pulp.

They Contain Chemicals

It’s not only the sheer volume of diapers that concerns environmental advocates — but it’s also what’s in them. While manufacturers have always been tight-lipped about what exactly goes into their products, parents have long suspected that disposable nappies contain chemicals.

In fact, modern disposables are made of a mix of plastics and petroleum byproducts, as well as chemicals like sodium polyacrylate and dioxin. The latter has been linked to cancer and reproductive problems in animal studies, although there’s no conclusive proof it poses a similar risk to human babies.

Some scientists are concerned that traces of the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) could be found in disposable nappies.

Disposable diaper manufacturers deny that their product is harmful to babies and has a negative environmental impact. But they don’t deny that traditional disposables are made from petroleum-based plastics and petrochemicals — ingredients that make them nonbiodegradable when sent to landfills.

Manufacturers claim that waste from disposable nappies takes up only 1 percent of all landfill space because “diapers take up less space than other garbage

Disposable nappies are also full of harmful chemicals that can contaminate our soil and water supply. These chemicals include dioxins, sodium polyacrylate, and tributyltin. Dioxins are known to cause cancer and reproductive problems, while sodium polyacrylate can cause skin irritation. Tin can also cause neurological damage.

What Makes Disposable Diapers Bad for Baby’s Skin?

There are a few reasons why disposable nappies can be bad for your baby’s skin. For one, these diapers contain harsh chemicals that can cause diaper rash. Additionally, the plastic in these diapers can prevent air from circulating around your baby’s skin, leading to more rashes and irritation.

Finally, disposable nappies often contain perfumes and other fragrances that can cause skin allergies in some babies. If you’re looking for a diaper option that is better for your baby’s skin, try using reusable cotton diapers or natural disposable diapers.

These options are free of harsh chemicals and fragrances, and they also allow air to circulate around your baby’s bottom, preventing rashes and irritation.

Are Eco Diapers Biodegradable?

There is a lot of debate surrounding the biodegradability of eco-friendly disposable diapers. Some people claim that they are not biodegradable, while others say that they are. The truth is, it depends on the type of plant-based diaper you are using.

Some of these baby diapers are made from bamboo, which is a highly biodegradable material. Other plant-based baby diapers are made from corn, which is also biodegradable. However, some plant-based baby diapers are made from materials that are not biodegradable, such as cotton.

At the end of the day, it is important to choose a diaper that works best for your family and your lifestyle. If you feel strongly about using a biodegradable diaper, then you should choose one that is made from bamboo or corn.

However, if you are not sure whether a particular diaper is biodegradable, then you can always contact the manufacturer to find out.

What to Avoid in Disposable Diapers?

Some things you may want to avoid when purchasing disposables are fragrances, lotions, latex, and chlorine. Fragrances can cause skin irritation such as diaper rash, lotions can make the diaper less absorbent, latex can cause allergic reactions, and chlorine can leave a harsh smell.

You also may want to avoid buying diapers that are too small or too large for your baby, as they will not fit comfortably and may cause leaks.

Finally, you will want to avoid purchasing diapers that are too expensive, as you can find affordable options without sacrificing quality.

Are Cloth Diapers Better Than Disposables?

There are both pros and cons to using a reusable diaper, but in the end, it really depends on your individual situation.

Here are some of the pros:

  • Saves you money in the long run.
  • Better for your child’s skin.
  • Better for the environment.

Here are some of the cons:

  • You have to do more laundry.
  • They can be a bit more expensive upfront.
  • You need to have enough space to store them.

In the end, it is up to you whether or not you think these diapers are good for the environment. They are reusable which means they are a good investment especially if you plan to have more than one child.

If you do decide to use them, make sure to do your research and find a type of diaper that will work best for you and your family.

Do Cloth Diapers Have Better Absorbency Than Disposable Diapers? 

The answer to this question is not so clear-cut. There are pros and cons to both disposable and cloth diapers, and it ultimately comes down to what works best for each individual family.

One advantage of disposable diapers is that they are typically more absorbent than cloth diapers. This is because disposable diapers often have a layer of polypropylene sandwiched between the absorbent material and the outer waterproof layer.

Polypropylene is a synthetic material that is particularly good at absorbing liquids.

Cloth diapers, on the other hand, tend to be made from totally eco-friendly materials like cotton or hemp, which are not as absorbent as polypropylene. This can be a disadvantage for cloth diapers, particularly when it comes to overnight nappies.

However, many parents find that using multiple layers of absorbent material in their cloth diapers can help to overcome this disadvantage, boosters can be your best friend!

How to Choose the Best Eco-Friendly Diapers for My Baby

There are a lot of different eco-friendly diapers on the market these days. So, how do you choose the best one for your baby?

Here are a few things to consider:

  • What materials are used in the diaper? Some eco-friendly nappies are made from organic cotton, sugar cane or bamboo, while others are made from recycled or organic materials. A good example is Bambo diapers which is made from bamboo materials.
  • How is the diaper made? Some eco-friendly nappies are made using a more sustainable process, such as waterless printing or using less energy.
  • What is the diaper’s environmental impact? Consider how the manufacturing and disposal of the diaper will affect the environment.
  • Is the diaper biodegradable? Some eco-friendly diapers are biodegradable, which means they will decompose in landfills. Also, some of these diapers come in biodegradable bags.
  • How does the diaper fit? Make sure to try on different eco-friendly diapers to see which one is the best fit for your baby. For example, Parasol diapers are made from soft eco-materials and feature a comfortable fit to prevent diaper rash.

There are a lot of different factors to consider when choosing an eco-friendly diaper for your baby. But, by considering these factors, you can find the perfect diaper for your little one.

9 Eco-friendly Diaper Brands

There are a lot of disposables options on the market, but not all of them are eco-friendly. If you’re looking for a diaper that’s fully or partially made from plant-based materials, here are nine eco-friendly disposable diaper brands:

Nest Diapers

Nest Diapers are made from plant-based materials, which means they are sustainable and eco-friendly. This makes them a more environmentally friendly option than traditional disposable diapers. The main benefit of using Nest Diapers is that these are biodegradable diapers.

This means they will break down in nature and won’t harm the environment. Additionally, they are soft and absorbent, making them a great choice for your baby.

Additionally, these diapers don’t contain any harmful chemicals that can cause an allergic reaction or irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.

Note that you should not put the dirty diaper in a plastic bag. Instead, contact your local diaper compost provider.

Although these are compostable diapers, it is also not advised to compost them in your backyard because it is illegal in most cities to compost human waste in your backyard.

Seventh Generation Diapers

Seventh Generation eco-friendly diaper is created and designed with sensitive skin in mind for your baby.

With the softest, gentlest diaper, your infants’ skin is protected from wetness and stays dry.

This particularly soft, quilted lining is made of unbleached cotton to provide the best care for your baby’s delicate skin.

Seventh Generation diapers are free from chlorine bleaching, scents, or lotions. It contains ultra-absorbent cores that prevent leaks. They also provide overnight diapers that are more absorbent than regular diapers.

Eco by Naty Diapers

Naty Diapers are the only environmentally friendly diapers that do not expose your child’s skin to plastic materials.

They contain no toxic chemicals and are produced entirely of plant-based components.

Eco By Naty baby diapers are designed with your baby and the environment in mind.

These natural diapers are breathable on the skin, have a pleasant flex-fit, and offer premium protection with absorbent fibers.

Honest Company Diapers

Honest diapers have cute patterns, a wetness indicator, improved absorption and blowout protection, cloud-like comfort, and specific features for each baby stage – all while using fewer materials and saving our environment. 

Honest Company harvests wood from sustainably managed pine and spruce trees in Scandinavia to manufacture the diaper core, which is then transformed into fluff pulp using completely chlorine-free processes, which means no dioxins and other hazardous chemicals in their diapers. 

Honest Co diapers are also free of latex, artificial scents, and parabens. They also use a plant-based back sheet which makes them one of the best eco-friendly diapers.

Coterie Diapers

Coterie diapers are made from natural materials that are safe for the environment. Sodium polyacrylate (SAP) and Totally Chlorine Free wood pulp from sustainably managed forests make up the super absorbent core. Polypropylene and polyester make up the nonwoven back sheet, whereas polypropylene makes up the top sheet.

Coterie hypoallergenic diapers have been dermatologically tested. There are no harsh chemicals and they are devoid of fragrance, lotion, latex, rubber, dye, alcohol, heavy metals, parabens, phthalates, chlorine bleaching, VOCs, optical brighteners, and animal testing.

Andy Pandy Diapers

Andy Pandy bamboo diapers are made from sustainably harvested bamboo materials. Bamboo is a sustainable resource that grows extremely quickly without the need for pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

Diaper fibers are delicate and silky to the touch, but they are also highly robust and absorbent.

Its moisture-wicking and thermal-regulating properties keep your child’s skin dry and comfortable in hot or cold weather.

Furthermore, it is biodegradable and does not pollute the environment. Andy Pandy diapers feature bamboo top sheet, which is approximately 86.5 percent biodegradable.

Healthybaby Diapers

These diapers are made from plant-based materials such as premium organic cotton and FSC certified wood pulp. Their diapers are EWG Verified and MadeSafe Verified. 

Pampers Pure

Pampers Pure diapers are manufactured with soft, plant-based fibers and quality cotton.

They’re also free of chlorine, scent, and allergens. They’re also gentle to the touch, which helps me relax.

Babyganics Diapers

Babyganics Diapers are gentle on your baby’s delicate skin while also being beneficial for the environment and your wallet!

Their highly absorbent core blend is constructed from renewable, plant-based materials, reducing the need for synthetic SAP gel.

TCF (completely chlorine-free) untreated fluff pulp is used in these diapers. The polypropylene top sheet and back sheet are made of highly soft, non-woven material.

Conclusion on Eco Friendly Plant Diapers

There are a number of plant-based baby diapers available on the market that are gentle on your baby’s skin while also being environmentally friendly. And disposable diapering doesn’t have to be bad for the environment because there are plenty of biodegradable options out there.

We’ve looked at 9 different brands of chemical-free, eco-friendly diapers and their various benefits. All of these diapers use sustainable materials to make them biodegradable and gentle on your little one’s skin.

If you’re looking for a diaper that is good for the environment, then we recommend using one of the plant-based baby diapers from the brands listed in this article.

This article was written by: Gian MIller – Full-Time Writer, Baby Whisperer & Dad of 3.

Gian spends a lot of his time writing. A self-proclaimed baby whisperer, Gian has been through it all with his own children and is passionate about sharing his hard-won wisdom with other parents. When he’s not writing or changing diapers, you can find him playing the guitar or watching baseball (or preferably both at the same time).