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  • Writer's pictureValinda

The Ultimate Guide to Sustainable Diapers: 15+ Brands Worth Trying

Updated: Jan 17



In 2018 about 20 billion pieces of the used diapers were dumped in landfills, generating more than 3.5 million tonnes of diaper waste that require almost 500 years to fully decompose. The resource-consuming production and disposal of used diaper waste have led to many environmental issues and pose a threat to public health. Therefore it is time to look for a more eco-friendly alternative to these polluting disposable diapers.

I am a big fan of cloth diapers and I could write all day about it (you can read all posts here) but some moms are just not a fan. The washing seems like too much work and they don’t like the big bums babies get in cloth. However, these parents are environmentally conscious and want to choose a more sustainable option compared to the regular disposable diaper. Therefore I have listed 15+ Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers Brands to give you lots of choices to choose from when searching your diaper brand.


Environmental Impact of Regular Diapers

While discussions of single-use plastics tend to be dominated by plastic straws and bags however, disposable nappies are one of the biggest contributors to plastic waste globally.

In the throes of modern parenting, the convenience of disposable diapers has become an indispensable ally for many. However, hidden beneath the soft layers and absorbent cores lies an environmental conundrum that cannot be ignored.


Landfills

Disposable diapers contribute significantly to the colossal mountains of waste in landfills. A baby uses over 6000 disposable diapers before they are potty trained. This results in worldwide, more than 300,000 disposable nappies a minute end up in landfills, incinerated or end up in the environment, including the ocean. The sheer volume of non-biodegradable material poses a serious challenge to our already overflowing landfills. Because of the mix of materials, and the addition of human waste, these diapers are very hard to recycle.


Recourses

Traditional disposable diapers often contain an array of chemicals, including dioxins, phthalates, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Every year, an estimated 167bn disposable nappies are produced, which requires 248.5m barrels of crude oil. Commonly, disposable diapers can contain different pollutants including polychlorodibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), organically active compounds of ethylene benzene, xylene and toluene, polyacrylates or phthalates. Some of these may have an impact on children's health.




The Carbon Footprint

The journey of traditional disposable diapers from cradle to grave is an environmental saga, and each chapter tells a tale of resource extraction, energy-intensive processes, and a lingering carbon legacy. Picture this: the raw materials, often derived from petroleum, are extracted, setting the stage for a carbon-intensive prelude. Yet, the story doesn't end there. Post-use, these seemingly innocuous diapers, once discarded, find their way into landfills or, worse, face the fiery fate of incineration. This dramatic exit not only amplifies the burden on our waste systems but adds a sinister twist as it releases carbon gases into our atmosphere. The environmental narrative of disposable diapers is a tangled web, with every twist and turn contributing to the unfolding carbon footprint drama.


Impact on Wildlife

In the intricate dance of nature, disposable diapers emerge as a silent but potent threat to wildlife. Their leisurely decomposition rate transforms these seemingly innocuous items into ticking time bombs for ecosystems. Picture this: as curious animals forage through landfills in search of sustenance, they unwittingly encounter diapers, becoming unwitting victims of our convenience. Yet, the danger doesn't stop there. In the slow degradation process, these diapers release a sinister concoction of chemicals and human waste into our soils and waterways, casting a shadow over the lives of every creature that relies on those vital resources, including us humans. It's a stark reminder that the choices we make have a ripple effect on the delicate balance of our shared environment.


Societal Costs

Delving into the realm of societal consequences, the management and disposal of traditional disposable diapers reveal a weighty toll that cannot be dismissed. The strain on waste management systems and the hurdles confronting communities residing in proximity to landfills are palpable outcomes exacerbated by the escalating usage of disposable diapers. These ripple effects extend beyond the mere convenience of single-use products, translating into tangible challenges for both our financial infrastructure and the well-being of communities directly affected by the mounting diaper waste. It's a stark reminder that the choices we make in our everyday lives have far-reaching implications, urging us to reconsider our diapering habits for the collective benefit of our communities and the environment.


In conclusion, the environmental impact of traditional disposable diapers is a multifaceted issue that demands our attention. As consumers, it is crucial to be aware of the consequences of our choices and seek more sustainable alternatives. The onus is on us to embrace eco-friendly practices in parenting, considering the long-term well-being of our planet and future generations.


Why choose Eco-friendly Diapers

If cloth diapers are not for you, why would you choose eco-friendly disposable diapers over regular disposable diapers as the latter is so much cheaper? Well, there are several reasons to choose a more eco-friendly alternative besides it being better for the planet.


Fewer chemicals

A baby wears a diaper 24/7 however, most new parents are not aware of the negative effects of regular disposable diapers has. This diaper is in contact with your baby's reproductive organs 24 hours a day for sometimes more than two years where it could cause long-term effects. Disposable diapers have been made by diaper manufacturers to be waterproof and super absorbent while also keeping your baby dry. The big downside of all the chemicals used is that they can cause everything from chronic diaper rash, respiratory problems like asthma, male infertility, and even testicular cancer.

All the more reason to avoid these disposable diapers to are made with so many chemicals.

chemicals in diapers

Less smell

Step into the aromatic world of disposable diapers, where the notorious smell takes center stage. Behind the scenes, polyacrylate polymers play a pivotal role as the superabsorbent material, silently waiting to unleash their olfactory surprise. Like a dormant scent bomb, these polymers remain odorless in their pristine state, but the moment they encounter moisture, a potent and unmistakable aroma permeates the air. It's a curious dance of science and scent, turning an innocuous diaper into a sensorial experience that leaves an indelible mark on the nostrils.


Natural resources

Imagine a disposable diaper as a composite creation, woven from the threads of wood pulp, petroleum and chlorine. It's a symphony of synthetic materials that, unfortunately, comes at a hefty environmental cost. Now, picture an eco-friendly diaper as a breath of fresh air in the diapering realm. Instead of relying on resource-intensive elements, these diapers dance to a different tune. Eco-conscious manufacturers opt for the likes of organic cotton, bamboo, and other plant-based materials, transforming the mundane act of diapering into a sustainable, Earth-friendly endeavor. It's a choice that not only cradles your little one but also nurtures the planet we all call home.


eco friendly baby diapers

Are Biodegradable Diapers Biodegradable?

Biodegradable means the ability of things to be decomposed by the action of micro-organisms like bacteria or fungi (with or without oxygen) while getting assimilated into the natural environment without releasing harmful toxins into the environment. However, according to this definition, almost everything is biodegradable. Therefore, a product or material can be considered truly biodegradable if it can quickly break down into harmless particles with no human intervention. Quickly meaning within a year. This unfortunately is not the case for biodegradable diapers.

How long does it take for a biodegradable diaper to decompose?

A biodegradable diaper should decompose in about 50 years. This is considerably less than the 500 years a regular diaper takes to decompose. Even though the big downside of decomposing biodegradable diapers is the production of methane during decomposition, it is considerably better compared to the fact that regular diapers disintegrate into microplastics.

baby in a diaper

Can you put biodegradable diapers in compost?

Even though it sounds like a great solution to compost your compostable diapers, the manufacturers of biodegradable diapers advise against trying to compost them at home. This is because diapers are contaminated with human fecal matter that can contain pathogens and bacteria and could spread diseases. The average at-home compost bin doesn’t get hot enough to kill these bacteria therefore it is not recommended to compost biodegradable disposable diapers at home.


15+ Eco-Friendly Disposable Diapers Brands


Eco by Naty

Eco by Naty was founded in Sweden nearly 27 years ago. Today, they continue with their goal to create products that are not only safe for your body, but that is also good for the environment. Their products are backed by independent sustainability certifications so they can offer the greenest products, all made from nature!

Naty Diapers are environmentally friendly diapers that prevent your baby’s skin to get in contact with plastic materials that are in regular disposable diapers. They are free of toxins and chemicals and are made from certified plant-based materials like sugar cane, corn, wood pulp, and cotton which makes them not only natural and absorbent, they are also remarkably soft. These natural diapers are great at preventing diaper rashes as they are breathable on the skin.

eco-friendly diapers - eco by naty

Bambo Nature

  • Diaper Interior:

  • Certifications:

  • Price per piece: $

  • Packaging:

Diapers by Bambo Nature are approved by dermatologists. This Danish brand has been around for more than 35 years and is a true legacy under the eco-friendly diaper brands. Their diapers have a flexible waistband with latex-free leg elastics so you have an allergy less to worry about while the diaper has no problem staying in place. Bambo Nature diapers have a unique three-layer design with a super-absorbent core that can stand up to multiple wettings. Meaning that these diapers can even handle overnight wetting. This combined with their fully breathable back sheet, your baby's sensitive skin will stay dry and comfortable. The diapers are not only made with 100% natural materials that are free from harmful chemicals and all known allergens but their fluff pulp is also made TCF (totally chlorine-free). Next to this, the manufacturing process is also 100% wind powered and they are the first baby diapers certified with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

eco-friendly diapers - bambo nature

Earth + Eden Baby Diapers

  • Diaper Interior: 100% cellulose fluff with polypropylene top layer

  • Certifications: Nordic Swan, Asthma Allergy Nordic, FSC

  • Price per piece: $0.39

  • Packaging: Recycled Paper

Earth + Eden Baby Diapers are cruelty-free and created from non-toxic natural materials, making these eco-friendly diapers safe against your baby’s delicate skin. What is even better, is that they are clinically proven gentle on your baby's skin. These diapers are free from lotions, parabens, latex, fragrance, and chlorine bleaching. They have superior leakage protection that not only keeps your baby dry but is also extremely gentle on your baby's skin. This, combined with the breathable outer cover of the diaper helps keep the baby's skin dry and therefore free from diaper rashes while the cotton enhanced dryness layer and hypoallergenic inner liner work to keep your baby comfortable.

Earth + Eden Baby Diapers are certified sustainably sourced and printed with non-toxic water-based inks. Their diaper production site is a ‘zero waste to landfill facility'.

eco-friendly diapers - earth eden

ECO BOOM

  • Diaper Interior: Bamboo Viscose and traditional SAP

  • Certifications: FSC, OK Biobased, OEKO-Tex

  • Price per piece: $0.43

  • Packaging: D2W Plastic

For ECO BOOM, your baby's comfort is their number one priority. Their bamboo diapers have a top and back sheet that is made of non-woven bamboo viscose fabric with FSC certification. This is incredibly soft to the touch to ensure your baby's comfort. ECO BOOM bamboo viscose diapers have German high quality and absorption material. This ensures excellent absorption of the diapers and it can lock the moisture. This keeps your baby dry and comfortable. The triple elastic eartips make these eco-friendly diapers super flexible to ensure provide a better fit and comfort for active babies. They used to most advanced chlorine-free bleaching process to ensure their diapers are TCF (total chlorine-free).

ECO BOOM chooses bamboo viscose for their diaper as it is not only a very sustainable resource, it is also very durable, absorbent, and breathable.

eco-friendly diapers -  eco boom

Ecoriginals

  • Diaper Interior: 90% plant-based & biodegradable natural materials

  • Certifications: FSC, OEKO-Tex

  • Price per piece: $0.50

  • Packaging: Cardboard

Founded in Byron Bay, Australia, Ecoriginals diapers and wipes are the results of groundbreaking innovation resulting in world-class eco-credentials. Ecoriginals produces eco-friendly diapers that are 100% plastic-free but rather they are made with over 90% plant-based & biodegradable natural materials. These diapers are free from phthalates, fragrances, dioxins, bleach, lotions and are not tested on animals. Not only that, the diaper packaging is compostable. Reducing your carbon footprint even further. Ecoriginals do not hand in on performance these diapers absorb about 40% more compared to regular diapers which reduce irritation and eliminate diaper rash. This Plantcell Technology aims for a 12+ hours leak-free period to keep your baby dry during the night. This brings us to their aim: performance without compromise for parents who want the best for their children and the kindest choice for the planet.

eco-friendly diapers -  ecoriginals

Mum & You

  • Diaper Interior: Plant-based material

  • Certifications: FSC, Green Seal

  • Price per piece: $0.45

  • Packaging: Recyclable Plastic with 30% recycled content

The Smart Tube technology from Mum & You locks moisture away from your baby's skin keeping the baby dry for up to 12 hours. Their unique (for eco diapers) wetness indicator is ideal for quick peeks to check if your baby needs a diaper change. They are soft and flexible for a comfortable fit for even very active babies. The diapers from Mum & You are free from perfumes, lotions, and latex, and are even dermatologically tested making them suitable for newborns as they are great for the delicate skin of newborn babies. What makes these nappies eco-approved? Their super softcore is made using chlorine-free wood pulp from certified sustainable forestry. These diapers are made with 100% renewable energy. Mum & You aim to not only have a positive impact on the lives of parents and babies but also to continuously improve the sustainability of their products.

eco-friendly diapers - Mum & You

The Honest company

  • Diaper Interior: Wood Pulp, Sodium Polyacrylate Containing Renewable Materials & Odor Inhibitors Including Citrus Extract

  • Certifications: BRC

  • Price per piece: $0.38

  • Packaging: Cardboard box

The newborn diapers produced by The Honest Company have a unique belly button cut-out design so the diaper stays out of reach of your baby’s healing umbilical cord. For the production of their diapers, they only harvest wood from sustainably grown pine and spruce trees in Scandinavia, which is then turned into pulp at a Swedish mill using a completely chlorine-free processing method. This means that these eco-friendly diapers are free of dioxins. Honest doesn’t add latex, fragrance, or parabens to the diapers, keeping them chemical-free as much as possible. Their plant-based backsheet and efficient design enables them to use less material than before while still being super absorbent. Not only that, these diapers have a wetness indicator for fast checkups while not giving in on comfort for your baby.

eco-friendly diapers - honest

Dyper

  • Diaper Interior: Bamboo Viscose

  • Certifications: B-Corp, OEKO-Tex, FSC

  • Price per piece: $0.54

  • Packaging: Cardboard

The diaper designs Dyper made for their products are thoughtfully made by picking a combination of materials that balance optimum performance while keeping an eye on the impact. Their micro-perforation design wicks the moisture away from your baby's skin which helps to keep them dry and free from diaper rashes. Dyper chooses bamboo viscose fibers for their eco-friendly diapers because it is soft, odorless, and breathable making them great for the delicate skin of your baby. The diaper is produced without chemicals meaning no chlorine, latex, alcohol, perfumes, PVC, lotions, TBT, or Phthalates. This is all true to their aim; ‘less is more' when it comes to the number of ingredients in baby products.

eco-friendly diapers -  dyer

Seventh Generation

  • Diaper Interior: Chlorine-free wood pulp

  • Certifications: CPSIA , B-Corp, FSC

  • Price per piece: $0.41

  • Packaging: Cardboard

A clean start for your baby is what matters for Seventh Generation Diapers.

Their diapers guarantee 12-hour protection because of their FreshAIR™Breathable Layer. This special layer helps release humidity that is present in the diaper. This keeps your newborn dry during the night and will keep those bums smooth and soft. Seventh produces these eco-friendly baby diapers without fragrances, lotions, or chlorine bleaching. This not only ensures your baby’s skin doesn't come in contact with chemicals, our soils also remain free from discarded toxic waste. They use only FSC Certified, sustainably sourced wood pulp that is best for both your baby and our planet’s forests.

eco-friendly diapers - seventh generation

Pampers pure

  • Diaper Interior: Elemental chlorine-free fluff pulp, traditional SAP with polypropylene top layer

  • Certifications: OEKO-Tex, Skin Health Alliance

  • Price per piece: $0.32

  • Packaging: Cardboard

Pampers Pure is different from their other diapers. The Pure line uses only chooses ingredients to care for your baby's skin. This means their diapers are free of chlorine bleaching, fragrance, parabens, and latex (they use natural rubber only) and are hypoallergenic. The plant-based liner is enriched with shea butter to help nourish and protect your baby's skin. Pampers Pure diapers are designed to help keep your baby's skin dry and healthy by locking wetness away from their delicate skin for up to 12 hours or outstanding leakage protection while caring for your baby.

eco-friendly diapers - pamper pure harmony

Babyganics

  • Diaper Interior: Plant-based material.

  • Certifications: SGS

  • Price per piece: $0.51

  • Packaging: Plastic

At Babyganics they know that eco-friendly diapers can be hard on the wallet, our planet, and your baby's sensitive skin. That's why they have designed their skin love diapers to better fit your values and your baby. The protective liner of their diaper is formulated with a neonourish seed oil blend. This is a blend of several oils including; tomato, sunflower, cranberry, black cumin, and raspberry seed oils. This keeps your baby's skin nourished and healthy. BabyGanics diapers are soft and comfortable while also being ultra-absorbent to prevent any leakage.

eco-friendly diapers - babyganics

Offspring

  • Diaper Interior: Wood pulp, traditional SAP with polypropylene top layer

  • Certifications: EWG, FSC, Eco-Cert

  • Price per piece: $0.44

  • Packaging: Plastic

At Offspring Diapers, your baby's wellness is their number one priority. That's why they make their eco-friendly diapers free of substances like fragrances, dyes, lotions, chlorine, chloride, phthalates, brighteners, and latex, which can potentially cause irritation or rash on your baby's sensitive skin. They are super soft, snug, and breathable to provide your little one with superior comfort and protection. With their ultra-absorbent cores and 3D barrier cuffs, their diapers will take the hassle out of diaper changing by lasting for 8-12+ hours without any leaking making them great for daytime, nighttime, and even overnight use. The best part? These eco-friendly diapers come in a variety of fun and vibrant designs that are created using skin-safe inks that are free of lead and other heavy metals.

eco-friendly diapers - offspring

Parasol

  • Diaper Interior: Wood pulp, SAP

  • Certifications: FSC, Oeko-Tex, ISO

  • Price per piece: $0.34

  • Packaging: Plastic

Parasol originated from California where they make incredibly soft eco-friendly diapers. This is due to Parasol’s ultra-smooth nonwoven fabric that is used for diaper production. Their hypoallergenic diapers are composed of pure ingredients sourced from responsibly-managed forests. The breathable yet super absorbent material has an 8 strand retractive waistband and leg cuffs to make sure you don’t experience overflow or side leaks. Parasols eco-friendly diapers have RashShield protection that instantly wicks wetness away from the baby’s skin and locks it in the layers down. This prevents baby’s skin from prolonged exposure to wetness which is a major cause of diaper rash.

eco-friendly diapers - parasol

Andy Panda

  • Diaper Interior: Bamboo fibers, SAP

  • Certifications: Oeko-Tex, FSC

  • Price per piece: $0.53

  • Packaging: Plastic

The award-winning bamboo diapers from Andy Panda are made from a highly sustainable natural renewable resource. The main resource for their diapers is highly absorbent bamboo. Bamboo is twice as absorbent as cotton which makes sure your baby’s bum remains dry and rash free. Their eco-friendly diapers are 87% biodegradable and free of chlorine, alcohol, preservatives, phthalates, latex, TBT, PVC, and PFAS. These diapers are hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and moisture-wicking. Their deluxe diapers even have an aloe liner to keep your sweet baby’s skin hydrated and protected. And if this wasn’t enough, Andy Pandy is also a proud partner and supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Eden Reforestation Project.

eco-friendly diapers - andy pandy

Abby & Finn

  • Diaper Interior: Wood pulp, SAP

  • Certifications: PEFC, ISO

  • Price per piece: $0.50

  • Packaging: Plastic

With the eco-friendly diapers from Abby & Finn you know for sure you are using diapers that are safe for sensitive skin because these diapers are dermatological-tested, and hypoallergenic because they only use the best ingredients. This is because all the materials used are free of chlorine, latex, fragrance, dyes and lotions, heavy metals, and other known allergens so these diapers are safe for all skin types. Not only that, all the natural materials used are resourced from sustainably managed forests. These eco-friendly diapers are proven to be safe to use under babywearing wraps making sure your baby stays dry while their elastic waist and anti-leak side cuffs keep everything clean.

eco-friendly diapers - abby finn

Happy Little Camper

  • Diaper Interior: Cotton, SAP

  • Certifications: FSC,

  • Price per piece: $0.36

  • Packaging: Plastic

At Happy Little Camper, they care about happy babies by providing ultimate comfort and reliable protection using eco-friendly diapers. Their diapers are produced with skin gentle and natural ingredients creating a breathable yet ultra-absorbent bio-cool blend that wicks away moisture to keep your baby’s diaper area free from wetness. Together with the super-soft top and back sheet they protect your baby's sensitive skin from skin irritations and reduce diaper rash. They roc-friendly diapers are made without any harmful chemicals, so no VOCs or toxic adhesives get introduced to your baby's system. At Happy Little Camper, they are committed to sustainably sourced ingredients, safe manufacturing processes, and packaging made from recycled materials.

eco-friendly diapers - happy little camper

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