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Is there any point in using biodegradeable nappies if I don't have a compost heap?

(14 Posts)
HeadFairy Tue 12-Aug-08 15:12:33

Actually we don't even have a garden, but I've been using biodegradeable nappies in the possibly misguided belief that if they go in to landfill, at least they won't be there for a 1000 years. My friend says they still give off methane as they biodegrade so they're still bad for the environment. Who's right?

amidaiwish Tue 12-Aug-08 15:21:57

my understanding is that they won't biodegrade as they won't be exposed to air.
i assume you're also disposing of them in a black bin liner?

i could be wrong though and interested to hear!

Dragonbutter Tue 12-Aug-08 15:24:17

we've been using the biodegradable ones too as a compromise. we use biodegradable nappy sacks and bin liners too but have also heard that it's pointless unless you have your own wormery or something.

HeadFairy Tue 12-Aug-08 15:29:39

Yeah, like dragonbutter I use biodegradeable nappy sacks and biodegradeable bin liners.

Miggsie Tue 12-Aug-08 15:33:09

everything that rots gives off methane. But it's better than them sitting there for 500 years...

BigBadMousey Tue 12-Aug-08 15:35:36

Regardless of whether they degrade or not there are other benefits. Depending on which brand you use they will have less bleaching agents and none of those absobing gels that pampers et al have.

amidaiwish Tue 12-Aug-08 15:36:19

this is what Huggies has to say


HeadFairy Tue 12-Aug-08 15:39:08

I use bambo nappies because they gave the best performance of any of the so called eco nappies. I don't know a massive amount about how much bleaching they go through or whether they have gel or not. I think they must have gel as Tushies claim to be the only ones that are gel free. However the Bambo ones claim to be 100% biodegradeable. Not sure how that can be with gel in.

HeadFairy Tue 12-Aug-08 15:40:49

if you scroll down on this page it gives the details of the nappies I use.

HolidaysQueen Wed 13-Aug-08 14:43:12

at the landfill end of things i don't think they're any different - you'd need a wormery or your own compost heap for the biodegradability to be worth it.

however as big bad mousey says, the eco-friendliness aspect of these is much better in the manufacture stage where they use fewer bleaches, chemicals, plastics etc. depending on the brand.

we use reusables during the day but use moltex at night (better absorbency) and when on holiday as the best disposable compromise - because of their manufacturing process rather than biodegradability. they're the most eco-friendly in that regard. also, happily, the best at not-leaking for DS (much better than nature, bambo and pampers)

fwiw, i don't believe the huggies nonsense about eco-disposables being bulkier. there is no appreciable difference between my moltex and pampers. a little maybe, but not a lot.

amidaiwish Wed 13-Aug-08 14:50:46

i wonder if there have been any studies done on no. of disposables used vs no. of eco-disposables used. My impression is that "normal" disposables are more absorbent and so can be used for longer / fewer used in a day. I tried nature nappies once and used the packet up very very quickly.

just a thought. If anyone has used both do you have any experience of this?

HolidaysQueen Wed 13-Aug-08 15:33:15

amidaiwish - interesting point. in my entirely unscientific studies, DS can survive 12 hours overnight on one Moltex without being wet... and he's a fairly heavy wetter smile

Dragonbutter Wed 13-Aug-08 15:57:26

we use nature nappies during the day for our one year old. if we use them at night he is wet through to his pyjamas by the morning so we use the pampers.
we don't feel good about it, but really don't like the idea of him waking up wet and uncomfortable.

i suppose if we changed him during the night, we could have two biodegradable nappies in the landfill rather than one pampers. i'm not wure how you'd calculate which is less harmful to the environment.

i probably do change him more regularly if he's wearing nature nappies instead of pampers as they tend to stay a bit damper against his skin or around the legs and can chaffe.

AnnVan Sun 24-Aug-08 01:42:28

I read somewhere that biodegradable nappies need to have exposure to air in order to biodegrade. If they're stuck in a landfill covered up with other rubbish, they actually dont decompose that well.

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