Is there anything more frustrating than investing in an “eco-friendly product” only to find out that the company stretched some facts in their marketing?
Sometimes, it seems like it is impossible to find truly honest products that are good for the environment.
That’s why we decided to compile this list of six biodegradable diapers that we know and trust.
You wouldn’t want your baby to be subjected to questionable practices.
Neither do we, so read on to learn about these great trustworthy alternatives to conventional diapers.
The Convenience Dilemma
For most of the history of mankind, we have used some form of diaper that is made of cloth or other permanent material.
Animal skins, moss, and linen have all been used and reused for baby poop. Though hygiene standards were not what they are today, this was still no easy matter.
In the 1900s, diaper technology went through rapid advancement, first developing prefolds, then disposables.
Now there are even cloth diapers that are much easier to work with than their ancestors.
Unfortunately, the most convenient and least icky of these options is also terrible for the environment.
Diapers are not recyclable & end up in landfills
Although disposable diapers seemed like a great idea at first and are still the preferred diaper in much of the developed world, their use is becoming a big problem.
They contribute substantially to our already massive problem with worldwide plastic pollution.
Since they are made of a variety of different materials (plastic, paper, absorbents, etc.) and are additionally contaminated with human waste, they are virtually impossible to recycle.
Since they are neither organic nor recyclable waste, in the majority of cases they end up in landfill.
The fact that no one has any idea how long it might actually take for them to even begin to break down is just one of the many issues with disposable diapers.
We have to ask ourselves:
“Is the convenience of being able to quickly put on a diaper and simply throw away the messy used one worth contributing to the environmental destruction of our planet?”
For many of us, that answer is simply “No”.
Therefore, we look to better earth-friendly alternatives.
The Best Disposable Eco-Friendly Diapers
If cloth diapers just are not for you, there are some disposable options that are much better than the mass-produced ones that are full of chemicals.
1. Eco Pea Co’s Bamboo Diapers
Eco Pea Co. is a family-run brand offering safe and eco-friendly diapers.
Made from sustainably sourced bamboo and manufactured in a certified facility, they offer an eco-friendly diaper subscription that promises to be safe, soft and gentle on your baby’s sensitive skin while being kinder to the environment.
After their third child reacted negatively to their regular brand, the experience led the family down an exciting and eye-opening journey on just how much waste is created by baby diapers and how many unnecessary ingredients and toxic chemicals are used.
Because bamboo is naturally antibacterial, anti-microbial and odor-resistant, Eco Pea Co. products contain no nasty chemicals and can begin to break down in as little as 2-3 months, where regular diapers take many centuries.
They also ensured their bamboo is harvested sustainably and processed without chemicals.
Eco Pea Co. diapers also use environment-protected water based ink.
After launching in 2011, the Australian company Ecoriginals has been a pioneer in its sustainable approach to developing the most environmentally-friendly, single-use diaper possible.
Thanks to constant innovation, their diapers are now made from an unrivaled 90% plant-based materials, and are almost fully biodegradable, with their goal to get to 100% by 2023.
Most disposable diapers contain a mixture of nasty dyes and chemicals, but Ecoriginals diapers are free from all these types of compounds, such as formaldehyde, phenols, chlorine, as well as allergenic and carcinogenic dyes.
So they not only protect the health of your baby, but also provide superior comfort and help to prevent itches, irritation and diaper rash.
Lastly, their packaging is also sustainably unique and innovative, being made of kraft paper and lined with corn starch lining, so that it will break down in your compost bin.
Ecoriginals also have a partnership with a fantastic ocean plastic organization called Plastic Bank, so that they recover the equivalent of 25 plastic bottles from the world’s oceans with every order placed.
3. Earth’s Best Disposable Baby Diapers
These are free from chlorine, latex, dyes, and fragrance so your baby is much less likely to have some sort of skin irritation.
The absorbent core material is all-natural and mostly biodegradable, although it will not fully degrade under the conditions of a typical landfill.
4. Nature Babycare Naty Diapers
The Swedish company Nature Babycare swaps out commercial oil-based plastics for 60 percent natural biodegradable material in these diapers.
One knock against eco-friendly disposable diapers used to be that they did not hold as much material.
Nature Babycare solves that issue with their patented center channel design that can contain just as much as the big box diapers.
The diaper has been certified by TÜV Austria with the “OK Biobased” due to the natural, plant-based ingredients.
The absorbent material is made from GMO-free, FSC-certified resources and, in addition, no chemicals, fragrances, synthetic dyes or latex are used.
5. Andy Pandy Bamboo Diapers
This family-run business based in Michigan started this brand because the founder parents wanted to create a diaper that was not only safe for their own children, but for all children as well as for our environment.
These unique diapers are mostly made from bamboo fiber, resulting in a diaper that is naturally hypoallergenic and antibacterial.
Since bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource that does not rely on fertilizers or pesticides, it is a much more eco-friendly material than what goes into the majority of disposable diapers.
Being gentle to both, our environment and your baby’s skin is the driving idea behind this product. As a result, no harsh or harmful chemicals like chlorine, preservatives, alcohol, phthalates or PVC are to be found in these diapers.
The company also donates to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital which supports children with cancer and other serious diseases.
Correction: in an earlier version of this article we said that Andy Pandy diapers were 100 % biodegradable. While this is true for the bamboo part of it, the diaper as a whole is only made of about 87 % biodegradable materials. The company reached out to us with this correction, saying “…we are continuously working on getting this number up but we have to ensure that the original quality of the diapers is not compromised…”.
The Best Reusable Eco-Friendly Diapers
The obvious choice for eco-friendly diapering is to use cloth diapers.
This is not as intimidating as it once was, back when all you had was a big piece of cloth and some fasteners.
There are plenty of reusable cloth diapers that come in a variety of cute patterns.
The only barrier to overcome is committing to do a lot of laundries and not being afraid of poop.
GroVia Reusable Hybrid Diaper Shell
GroVia is a highly respected name in the eco-friendly diaper world and their hybrid diaper system is one of the main reasons.
By starting with this shell, parents can decide what insert to use based on what is best for their family or even for specific occasions.
For those who don’t mind laundry and do not want to throw anything away, pick up some Reusable Soaker Pads. These snap right into the shell and do not require any further prep.
When wet they can be removed and a new pad snapped in as long as the shell is not soiled.
If you need to minimize your laundry loads, perhaps due to travel, or even if you just are not sold on the 100% cloth diapering concept, GroVia also makes Disposable BioSoaker Pads that can be used in their hybrid shell.
This can be a great transition into eco-friendly diapering for parents who are new to the concept.
In the same way that reusable pads can simply be removed and replaced, so too can disposable BioSoaker pads.
The lining and waterproof outer layer are both compostable to EN13432 standard while the core is made of sustainably harvested absorbent wood pulp and SAP gel.
This is the closest you can get to a guilt-free disposable diaper.
Mama Koala One Size 6-Pack
There are six colorful patterns included in this pack of reusable pocket cloth diapers by Mama Koala.
Each one comes with a triple layer microfiber insert that can absorb a large amount while the inner cloth protects your baby from moisture. The waterproof outer layer and leg elastics protect against leaks.
As far as cloth diapers go, this is almost as easy as using a disposable. The only difference is that you need to remove the liner to wash and then load it back up before the next use.
There are many rows of snaps to accommodate your baby as they grow. At a minimum weight rating of 8 lbs., these can be used from day one all the way until they are outgrown around 35 pounds. With the proper care, these should last all the way to potty training.
BumGenius Freetime All-in-One Cloth Diaper
These are the easiest cloth diaper to use. It is basically a cloth version of a disposable diaper, where everything is attached in one piece.
When it is soiled the entire thing comes off and goes into the wash.
All-in-ones are great for cloth diaper newbies and babysitters, but they are the most expensive option. You might not be able to afford a drawer full but it is nice to have a couple on hand.
There you go, these are the best eco-friendly diapers – reusable or disposable.
Either way, all of them are a much better option for your baby and our environment than conventional disposable diapers.
Which one is your favorite?