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Nature Babycare: A green disposable diaper?


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Nature Babycare Diaper ExteriorNature Babycare Diaper Interior

Inspite of the oxymoronic title, Nature Babycare is an environmentally savvy disposable diaper. It boasts the convenience of a disposable without all of the gross plastic and its many associated ills. Nature Babycare was developed by a Swedish mom, who sought to create a diaper with a low environmental impact, but with the ease of a disposable diaper. The end product is a simple, yet ingenious solution.

The outer plastic-like layer is made of a compostable/biodegradable corn Bio film. The corn Bio film is composed of cornstarch and biodegradable polyester. The corn used in the diaper is 100% non-genetically modified. The inner tissue is composed of natural tree pulp. The tree pulp is TCF (totally chlorine free). The ink used for printing the whimsical design on the diaper is free of heavy metals. Even the packaging material is made of 100% non-genetically modified compostable material. Traditional plastic disposable diapers are composed of petroleum based plastic, whereas with the Nature Babycare diaper, 60% of the content is of biological origin and is biodegradable. These diapers have multiple certifications by OK compost, the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, and FSC(Forest Stewardship Council) .

I was intently awaiting the arrival of our first pack of Nature Babycare diapers. The first thing I noticed was the texture: smooth, but not plasticy…kind of papery. Unmistakably different from Huggies, Pampers, and Seventh generation diapers. Aside from the texture, the fit and method of application were identical to any other disposable diaper. The performance was outstanding: no leaks, no mess.

I was elated: this was a masterfully designed green disposable diaper. Conventional plastic disposable diapers with their 250 year half-life are not a viable option. In our busy lives, time is a non-renewable resource. To not have to spend precious moments washing soiled clothes, liners, or diapers and to instead spend that time playing with my clean and happy wee one is invaluable.

What is the financial cost? At Diapers.com:

Brand Number of Newborn Diapers Price(in U.S. dollars)
Pampers 40 9.59
Huggies 40 9.99
7th Generation 40 10.39
Nature Babycare 44 11.99
gDiaper 40 14.49

I’ll admit, I am smitten by the Nature Babycare diaper. With our ever- increasing need for environmental responsibility, it is a brilliant innovation. Two other eco-friendly diapers worth mentioning are Nature Boy and Girl and Ecobaby. Nature Boy and Girl is based in the U.S. and uses a similar corn-based material based on the Swedish invention. Nature Boy and Girl is more costly, 15.99$ for a newborn pack of 48 diapers. I have had no experience with this particular brand, and the website provides limited information on the product. Ecobaby is from Ireland and the Eco-nappy also uses a biodegradable plant-based material on the outside and unbleached wood pulp in the inner tissue. Ecobaby nappies are sold primarily in Ireland.

P.S. I have tried to contact Nature Babycare Diaper to clarify the biodegradable content: The website reports both 100% and 60%. I have not yet received a reply to my query.

29 Comments »

  mamatang wrote @ April 24th, 2008 at 10:30 am

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Thanks for all the great info!

  neelam wrote @ April 24th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

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Hi mamatang,

Thank you for visiting the site and for taking the time to comment. Having had a baby, I have been inspired to share my tales. I have many baby related posts to come.

Best,
Neelam

  Jennifer wrote @ May 4th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

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My friend let me use a couple of her’s that she had ordered and they were fantastic. I love them even more after reading this information. Finally, something I don’t have to feel guilty about!

  Stashka Lepera wrote @ May 7th, 2008 at 9:19 pm

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I cannot tell you how much I love these diapers. My youngest is the most hydrated baby on earth and can saturate a convential diaper, even huggies, in just a few hours. Seriously - we had her nakey bum for a rash with her BabyLegs on the other day and within an hour I had to wipe up 3 puddles and change her leg warmers each time. Every other diaper we used prior to these would leak wet out the front when I got her in the morning and because she tends to poo before I wake up in the morning, we’d blow out the backside.

I found these diapers while researching greener alternatives for my site and am completely and utterly in love. Pretty sad when the most excitement I’ve had this year was finding these diapers!

At any rate - I can tell you that they are compostable - we’ve got them in our composting bin and everything but the tabs seems to truly biodegrade. If you choose to compost, don’t compost the poopy ones!!! And although they do seem to have that funky gel stuff in the core to help absorbancy - it’s the lowest amount I have ever seen. There hasn’t been drop of that creepy gel stuff on my babies hiney - no matter how we that diaper gets.

They also make compostable diaper bags (which we use for dog poo, kitchen scraps as well as dirty diapers. And their wipes ROCK! They are new to the US, so you should start seeing them available at more stores this year. Right now you can find them at http://coolerchoices.com and diapers.com.

Enjoy!

  neelam wrote @ May 26th, 2008 at 9:09 am

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Hi Stashka,

Thank you for visiting and for sharing your findings. That’s great to know that they are biodegradable. I love babylegs leg warmers as well, and I can truly appreciate your excitement over finding these diapers. I had tried the gDiapers first and was underimpressed I was elated to find the nature babycare diapers. I love the coolerchoices website.

Neelam

  neelam wrote @ May 26th, 2008 at 6:40 pm

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Hi Jennifer,

I could not agree with you more, when I found out about these diapers, I too was thrilled. Finally, I did not have to carry the weight of an extra large eco footprint with the usual huggies and pampers.

Neelam

  Ashley wrote @ June 4th, 2008 at 3:15 pm

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I am in love with these diapers too. I actually get them for the price of pampers at Target, but they are not carried at every Target, and are on an endcap, not in the diaper aisle, I love that they are biodegradable and especially love that they are the most absorbant diapers around. I also love the fact that they are thin and don’t have cartoons all over them. A biggie for me is that they do not contain petroleum like all the rest. Those 7th Generation diapers they carry at Whole Foods aren’t biodegradable–I wish Whole Foods carried Nature Baby care! Have you tried their wipes? Love them too!

  neelam wrote @ June 4th, 2008 at 9:19 pm

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Hey Ashley,

I sincerely share your love for nature babycare.The average disposable diaper contains one cup of oil. It is thrilling to know that there is no petroleum products in the diaper. I wish that all Targets would carry nature babycare; I have asked our local organic cleaners store to stock them, and I am writing to our nearest whole foods to see if they can order them. One concern, however, is the gel that sometimes leaks out.

Thanks for your comments,
Neelam

  Robyn wrote @ June 24th, 2008 at 7:38 am

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I love these too. Their wipes are great too.

  Zebulen wrote @ July 15th, 2008 at 7:27 am

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I enjoy your blog. We use these diapers almost exclusively and think they are wonderful. Our daughter likes them too! They are priced competively with all of the leading oil-based disposable brands. These diapers really are a win-win alternative; both functional and biodegradable! Since Target stopped carrying them, we order them in bulk through Diapers.com and make use of their free shipping offer.

  neelam wrote @ July 15th, 2008 at 12:28 pm

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Hey Zebulen,

Thank you for checking out the blog and for your fantastic feedback, I am thinking of asking our local organic food/baby mart to carry these diapers. I, too, am in love with them.

Neelam

  Eli wrote @ July 22nd, 2008 at 9:40 am

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I love these nappies too but find them really difficult to get in Co.Cork Ireland, there seems to be only one outlet stocking them and they are constantly out of stock or unavailable, it’s really frustrating. Lots of my friends want to use them on their babies too, if anyone knows of where else we can get them we’d love to know.

  grace wrote @ August 25th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

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Thanks for showing all the posts. I’m starting research now for our baby due in December and find all the feedback useful in making my argument to “go green” to my partner. Especially helpful to know that the cost (his big concern) is comparable to conventional diapers. Thanks again.

  neelam wrote @ August 26th, 2008 at 3:06 pm

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Hi Grace,

Thank you for checking out the website. I love the nature babycare diapers, and could not recommend them enough. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Best,
Neelam

  Eleanor wrote @ January 12th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

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How do you compost a diaper?

I would find it a little sketchy to compost diapers in my back yard — what if the compost doesn’t get hot enough, and doesn’t get sterilized?

My understanding is that, because of the anaerobic environment, nothing composts in a land fill.

  Mona wrote @ February 25th, 2009 at 7:16 pm

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Thank you for the great info. Our baby is due in June and diapering option I’m sure is only the first of many many decisions that we’ll have to agonize over :)
Like Eleanor, I too have been wondering about composting. We live in the city and while it’s not an excuse, I don’t do my own composting. Our garbage service however does provide us with the “green” bin for food scraps, yard trimmings, and other compostable matter. So, will I be able to put the Nature Babycare diapers in this bin then?
And what about the super absorbent material that is in the diaper? I’ve been reading about SAP and as I understand it, we should stay away from it?

  neelam wrote @ March 6th, 2009 at 8:00 am

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I would reccomend that you contact Nature baby care directly with regards to your query about composting thier diapers. SAP is sodium polyacrylate that is found in many disposable diapers. Some studies have shown increased irritation of the lung/foreign bodies when inhaled. Although most studies have not shown this to be an issue with disposable diapers. Intuition, however would have me believe that the less chemicals surrounding baby, the better.

  Michael wrote @ April 15th, 2009 at 4:11 am

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The Nature Babycare is great in principle. The manufacturers go to great lengths to associate the product with Sweden, and all things Scandinavian.

However, the packs I have seen in Boots have in small print “Made in Israel”.

Many who are concerned about environmental issues, human rights, international relations etc., would be unwilling to choose a product made in Israel over alternatives from Europe.

However, the fact that the Made in Israel text is tiny, but the implied Swedish origin is large, is I think not appropriate.

  Sandy wrote @ September 21st, 2009 at 7:18 pm

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Our newborn has tried these, in fact I just “recycled” the three quarters full package that I had left. I do not share everyone’s enthusiasm for these diapers. They do not fit well, they leak quite easily. I have had to run my washer and drier more in the last two days than before I tried these things. I guess my daughter will just have to experience better living through chemistry from now on. BTW this is my fourth child and I have used cloth diapers as well as disposables, my oldest is 19.

  Tara wrote @ October 26th, 2009 at 8:41 am

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Try moltex oko nappies. I use nature baby (despite the Israel connection) but use moltex oko when my little boy gets diarrhoea. They’re more expensive, but they’re amazing - and they don’t have the gel so they’re fully compostable.

  K wrote @ February 2nd, 2010 at 4:13 am

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I am desperately searching for an eco disposable nappy…. I ordered a free sample from Moltex, used it and ripped it open. It had gels! I believe to be SAP. Very disappointed. If Nature Babycare also contain the gel (according to Neelam) I am reluctant to buy/try…. so the only one I know that is left is Bambo. Any advice/feedback on those? Do Bambo contain the gel? If so, which eco nappies, if any, don’t have the gel??? I use www.greenkids.com.au nappies and they are fabulous but seek a disposable option for an upcoming trip.
Please help :)

  sarah wrote @ February 4th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

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Israel is a great center of technological advances and I am not surprised these diapers come from there. I find it shocking and sad that people think that the country’s need to defend itself against its insane neighbors is a reason not to buy these diapers.

  Emily wrote @ May 25th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

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We have used Nature Babycare diapers for my son’s entire life. We’ve always been happy with their performance and LOVE the new improvements they’ve made. Before my son arrived, my husband - who was against cloth diapering - made me do a cost analysis of cloth diapering vs Nature Babycare vs grocery store brands. While cloth diapering, hands down, was the least expensive over the time frame a child wears a diaper, Nature Babycare, per diaper, was LESS expensive than the grocery store brands! Nature Babycare isn’t available in stores in our area - not even Whole Foods - so we utilize Amazon.com’s Subscribe and Save program. They send us a shipment in quantites and frequencies we choose at 15% off the price. It’s so simple!

Just as an aside - my husband isn’t a heathen for not wanting to cloth diaper. We knew our daycare didn’t allow cloth diapers, and the upfront costs associated with it were enough to deter us from doing it for the 10 weeks we were home on maternity leave.

  Ferris wrote @ June 7th, 2010 at 7:08 am

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I hate to say it, friends, but Naturebaby diapers are NOT biodegradable. Their green marketing campaign insinuates that they are because they are “based” on corn. Essentially, we used about 300 diapers thinking we were not sending them to an eternal landfill. Well, we were.

Personally, I am going to have to go a different rout with my diapers for a couple of reasons. Not only did they try to pull the wool over my eyes with a deceptive marketing campaign, the diapers are MADE IN ISRAEL. I don’t think I need to support their economy.

Thinking of going back to 7th Gen. or Gdiapers…. will be more carefull to check “Made in ____” in the future.

  dunabwin wrote @ June 9th, 2010 at 1:25 am

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I’m looking for a green nappy solution but I don’t think this is it. we are still talking about 40% of all this not degrading in landfill.

  Allison wrote @ July 3rd, 2010 at 9:14 am

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I received a bunch of these diapers on a diaper cake at one of my showers. I was excited to start using them once my daughter increased in size and needed a size 2 diaper. I have to say I HATE these diapers. They are bulky and dig into her thighs causing deep red marks. If they didn’t cause bright red “dig” marks from the tabs, I would have used them regardless…But I’m sure they can’t feel all that great on her little legs. I really wanted to like these diapers, but now even though she is still in size 2, I have maybe 30 or 40 of these diapers just sitting in a box not being used. Very disappointing.

  sally wrote @ November 1st, 2010 at 4:33 am

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We used nature babycare nappies for my first born two years ago. We´ve just had another little boy, and have just started using a new brand of called Little Takas. I just couldn´t ignore their claims of 90% biodegradbility and apparently that is reached within a year. So after only a short time of use, we haven´t had any spills and no rash!! The price is actually quite reasonable too. I really suggest you have a look at www.littletakas.com
I can´t help but think that if all parents made an effort to use the most environmentally friendly nappies, our children won´t inherit a planet of garbage. And if Little Takas or another brand meet even higher environmental standards, I would sure love to put them on my little boy.

  Monique Buckner wrote @ January 4th, 2011 at 2:35 pm

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@Michael. I could not agree more. I got the shockof my life when I found ‘Made in Israel’ in tiny print after purchasing several packs thinking this was a Scandinavian product. I was fooled by the Swedish flag on the packaging which insinuates that these are Swedish nappies/diapers. Some sizes do not even have ‘Made in Israel’. It is so misleading and the company should be more forthcoming about the origins of this line of their products. I have contacted the company in various manners (Facebook and through their site) about the contradiction in information on packaging and the investment in a country that starves children in Gaza. They did not enter into any conversation with me and blocked all further questions. In other words, they seemed worried about the bad publicity and wanted to muzzle me as quickly as possible. I find the company dishonest and one big greenwash when it comes to how they invest. They should be more aware of the concerns of customers who have ethical standards and should treat people with more respect.

  Monique Buckner wrote @ January 4th, 2011 at 2:45 pm

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@ Sarah- I did not know that starving children in Gaza through collective punishment and the long history of Israel’s massacres had anything at all to do with self-defense. Sisty-five UN resolutions against Israel, the Goldstone report on Israel’s war crimes in the Operation Cast Lead massacre and the UN report on the massacre of nine unarmed aid workers on board the Mavi Marmara are just some testimony of Israel’s insane behaviour. If your country was occupied and armed fundamentalist settlers came to steal your farm, how would you feel? Palestinians have had to deal with a brutal occupation for 43 years and Israel is unwilling to end it. The land left for the Palestinians has shrunk year-by-year over the decades while the Palestinians who live as citizens in Israel are treated like second-class citizens with dozens of laws to discriminate against them in this ethnocracy. It is no surprise then that victims of South African Apartheid who have seen firsthand how Palestinians are treated have stated that Israeli Apartheid is worse than South African Apartheid racism. Many Americans are not even aware how racist and violent Israel behaves. American media are too scared to touch the subject and adopt self-censorship. Sarah, since you are American, I have this site to offer you more information:

http://www.ifamericansknew.org/

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