As I was expecting my first baby, buying eco friendly biodegradable nappies, baby wipes and nappy bags was very important to me for two reasons.
The first is the UK’s high rate of plastic ending up in landfills and seas and the effect this has on climate change.
The second reason is that I wanted all natural materials on my baby’s skin, not plastic and fragrance as is usually the case. So, I did a lot of research and settled on some brands which worked for myself and my family. My baby seems happy with them too!
A bit of a disclaimer here…The content below is purely based on my personal experience and opinions.
I am not saying in this post that I have chosen the most eco friendly or the most biodegradable products on the market, but I have chosen what suits my circumstances, lifestyle and budget while being as environment conscious as possible.
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The environmental impact of regular nappies, wipes and nappy bags
Most nappies, baby wipes and nappy bags in the UK market are made from plastic which mostly end up in landfill sites, clogging up sewers or in the sea.
These are not biodegradable and by the time they do degrade, it could be 100 years plus! In the UK alone, approximately 3 billion nappies are thrown away each year which equates to 2-3% of domestic waste according to Wrap, a charity focussing on recycling and reusing resources.
Like many of you, we try to do our bit at home for the environment like recycling and using eco friendly cleaning products etc. And this was another area where we felt we wanted to try and make a difference.
How to choose eco friendly biodegradable nappies
This was a bit of a minefield and could be confusing at times. I read (or rather studied!) product descriptions, reviews and comparisons in the Ethical Consumer Magazine. But in the end, you just have to go with what feels right for you based on what you learn.
The thing with reviews is that there will be positives and negatives for pretty much every type of nappy. And why? Because as you’ll read in almost all baby related articles, every baby is different!
Once you rule out the mainstream brands that use plastic, fragrance and gels, you are still left with a choice between reusable nappies and disposable nappies.
Link to Ethical Guide to Nappies from the Ethical Consumer: https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/health-beauty/shopping-guide/nappies.
You’ll need to subscribe to see the full scoring brand comparison system (my dad was already a subscriber so I didn’t need to) but even if you don’t, there is still useful information there.
Reusable cloth nappies vs disposable eco friendly biodegradable nappies
Benefits of reusable cloth nappies
Reusable nappies have come a long way over the years. You can still buy the good old fashioned terry cloth squares that my grandparents’ generation used.
They’re strong, reliable, very economical and just need washing to be reused. On average, you could use 30-50 cloth nappies from birth to potty training.
You also wouldn’t have to worry too much about nappy sizes as you do with disposable ones. If you wanted a reusable cloth nappy that’s a bit more modern, you can buy ones that are slightly more compact than the terry cloth one. These come with adjustable waistbands as opposed to the traditional nappy pin and with inserts that can be removed and washed.
You can also get brightly coloured cloth nappies with funky prints like rainforest animals, bugs, car wheels and more.
Disadvantages of reusable cloth nappies
We chose not to go down this route because the nappies can be bulky which may be uncomfortable for a baby moving around. This will also also make buying clothes in the right size tricky.
It also felt like it would be complicated using them when going out and about. You’d have to take a bag to put the soiled nappy in (most modern cloth nappies do come with a bag to put the nappy in for washing). You will then wait until you got home to wash it. We also didn’t want the extra pre-soaking and washing time on top of all the other parental responsibilities.
Link to traditional reusable Terry Cloth Nappies (you can buy them in packs of 6 or 12 ):
Link to traditional reusable nappy pins (packs come in a variety of colours and sizes ranging from 2 – 100 in a pack):
Link to Bambino Mio cloth all in one reusable nappy (priced at £11 each at the time of writing):
Disclaimer here – as I have said I didn’t choose this type of nappy so cannot guarantee this brand but it has won awards and claims to be the leading global brand in cloth nappies. From doing my earlier research when thinking about nappies, it is a very popular brand and their designs are super cute!
Benefits of disposable eco friendly biodegradable nappies
Now I know I’ve been talking about how detrimental disposable nappies are for the environment but it is the materials they consist of.
The packaging they use and the much reduced number of years that they take to degrade which makes the difference.
Regular nappies can take hundreds of years to decompose whereas the more eco friendly biodegradable nappies can take under 10 years.
Eco friendly nappies are made with the environment and sustainability in mind. They don’t use certain chemicals and plastics that regular ones do meaning only natural materials are against your baby’s skin and all their packaging is recyclable.
Which brand of eco friendly biodegradable nappy to choose
After doing lots of research I finally settled on two brands with one favourite. There are lots of options nowadays at a variety of budgets. I won’t list all of them here but I’ll tell you about the two I chose.
Rascal + Friends nappies
Benefits of Rascal + Friends nappies
I’ve used Rascal + Friends nappies up until a couple of months ago from when my baby was born and have been very happy with the results. They are unisex and their print design is made from water based ink, not chemicals.
They also don’t use latex, formaldehyde, glyphosate, fragrance or lotions and have been dermatologically tested for sensitive skin. The nappies are cruelty free and vegan and very affordable in line with the regular nappy brands.
My baby has been very comfortable wearing Rascal + Friends nappies and hasn’t experienced any nappy rash at all.
Disadvantages of Rascal + Friends nappies
The only downside with them is that in the UK, you can only buy them in Tesco supermarkets.
I don’t always shop in Tesco but I was willing to make the extra trip there to buy these nappies because of the advantages above. However, my baby was born at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic and after he grew out of a couple of sizes, Rascal + Friends ran out of stock. This meant that Tesco faced delivery delays to so I couldn’t find the nappy size I needed.
I contacted Rascal and Friends and they have been apologetic about this and stated that they will get stocks back to normal as soon as they can. But in the meantime, my baby still needs to wear nappies which is why I have moved to a different brand.
You can visit the Rascal + Friends website here to find out more information: https://www.rascalandfriends.co.uk/.
Here is the link to buying Rascal + Friends from Tesco supermarkets (retailing at the time of writing at £5 per large pack of 33, 36, 44 or 54 nappies depending on the nappy size): https://www.tesco.com/groceries/en-GB/search?query=Rascal%20%2B%20Friends.
Eco by Naty Nappies
Benefits of Eco by Naty nappies
As with Rascal + Friends nappies, again I have been very happy using Eco by Naty nappies. They are so soft, very natural using plant based materials and my baby hasn’t experienced any nappy rash.
The nappies also don’t use ‘nasty’ chemicals, fragrance, paraben, latex or plastic and their packaging is made from renewable materials. They are also vegan and unisex with beautiful illustrations of hearts, plants and birds.
Another advantage is that you can buy them from a number of different stores. You can buy Eco by Naty nappies from their own website, Boots, Waitrose supermarkets, Amazon, Sainsbury’s supermarkets and many more ethical/eco friendly websites.
Disadvantages of Eco by Naty nappies
One disadvantage is that the nappies are not 100% biodegradable. Their focus as a brand is on using plant based and renewable materials in their nappies and packaging. They are also slightly more expensive than Rascal + Friends and other regular nappies.
You can expect to pay a bit more for eco friendly biodegradable nappies and it just depends on your personal circumstances as to how much more you want to pay. For me, they are still affordable, eco friendly and sensitive if Rascal + Friends are not available due to the delivery issues I mentioned above.
You can find out more information on the Eco by Naty website here: https://www.naty.com/gb/en/
You can buy the packs in different sizes with various numbers of nappies per pack, retailing at the time of writing between £6.25 and £7.49 for a smaller pack and up to £10 on the larger packs. There are also occasional offers and promotions on packs depending on where you buy them from.
Here’s a link for Eco by Naty on Amazon:
Choosing Eco Friendly Biodegradable Disposable Nappy Bags
When using disposable nappies, it is likely you’ll need nappy bags. These will help you both at home and when you’re out and about. Nappy bags will allow you to dispose of nappies and wipes hygienically, conveniently and safely.
With this in mind, I realised I would need A LOT of nappy bags so of course, I didn’t want plastic ones.
I wanted compostable biodegradable nappy bags that would still perform. As Rascal + Friends don’t make nappy bags, it was clear that I would get them from Eco by Naty.
I haven’t been disappointed. They are the perfect size, fitting upto 4 nappies in them and they’ve never ripped or leaked. Eco by Naty nappy bags are made from natural cornstarch film and are 100% compostable and biodegradable. They are also very affordable.
You get 50 bags in a box which lasts a long time and as with Eco by Naty nappies, you can buy them from their own website, Boots, Waitrose supermarkets, Amazon, Sainsbury’s supermarkets and many more ethical/eco friendly websites, retailing at the time of writing at around £1.99.
You can find out more information about Eco by Naty nappy bags on their website here: https://www.naty.com/gb/en/for-baby/nappy-disposal-bags/disposal-bags/8239998.html.
Here is the link to buy Eco by Naty nappy bags from Amazon:
Choosing Eco Friendly Biodegradable Baby Wipes
Following the same thought process as the nappies and nappy bags, of course I wanted baby wipes that would not contain plastic, would be biodegradable and sensitive enough on my baby’s skin. I tried two brands, Aveeno and Aqua Wipes
Thinking about Aveeno baby wipes
Although Aveeno baby wipes are not biodegradable, they are fantastic for sensitive skin. They don’t contain any fragrance, dyes, alcohol, parabens or phenoxyethanol.
I bought a few packs on offer ready for when my baby was born and I was happy using them. They were very moist and didn’t cause any rash or skin problems on my baby’s skin.
They are affordable compared to other baby wipes and can be bought from multiple stores and supermarkets in the UK. You can also buy them in bulk and find good offers on them which makes them even more economical. However, I soon realised Aveeno baby wipes weren’t eco friendly or biodegradable and this was important to me.
Thinking about Aqua Wipes for babies
After doing some research, I came across Aqua Wipes which are 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable.
Aqua baby wipes don’t contain plastic and are made up of 99.6% of purified water thereby hydrating and protecting your baby’s skin. Aqua wipes are also used and recommended by the NHS which on its own makes you put your trust in them.
They are very moist which makes cleaning up a breeze and they don’t dry out your baby’s skin. Aqua wipes haven’t caused any skin rash or other skin problems and I’m so happy with how they perform. I won’t be changing to any other brand. Again, you can buy Aqua Wipes from multiple shops and supermarkets in the UK. You can also get them in bulk and often find good deals on them.
You can find out more about Aveeno baby wipes on their website here: https://www.aveeno.co.uk/baby/products/daily-baby-wipes.
You can find out more about Aqua wipes for babies on their website here: https://aquawipes.co.uk/aqua-wipes-baby-wipes/.
Here is a link to buying Aveeno baby wipes on Amazon:
Here is a link to buying Aqua Wipes on Amazon:
As this post is based on my genuine personal experience and honest reviews of the products I have tried and found useful, I hope it has been detailed and helpful for you.
Feel free to get in touch with any suggestions or questions. Thanks and speak soon!