The Nappy Debate
As consumers and parents, we are becoming more ecologically aware of how our choices impact the world around us. We want to choose the right products for our children, our budgets and the environment and the nappy industry has had to meet the demands of parents seeking more eco-friendly affordable options for their children.
The most common choice of nappies for parents is disposable, with brands such as Pampers and Huggies, being the most popular on the market. They are easy and convenient for busy parents but their impact on the environment has become a big concern for more eco-aware parents.
Eco-disposable nappies are a greener version of the disposable nappy, usually using more renewable materials and fewer chemicals in their manufacture and being more biodegradable in landfill sites. Two of the most popular European brands with good eco-credentials are Bambo Nature, the only brand to be independently accredited by the Nordic Swan eco-label and Naty Nature, originally founded in Sweden. Unfortunately, neither of these brands are currently available in Malta, but online ordering and delivery is possible from Europe.
Relatively new to the Maltese market are reusable nappies – nappies that can be washed and used repeatedly.
There are four main types of reusable nappies:
Reusable nappies are arguably more environmentally friendly than disposable nappies, but require more effort, as you need to wash and dry them. While the initial price is high compared to a pack of disposable nappies, they can work out to be significantly more economical, as the price is spread over years of use and possibly multiple children.
However, parents need not be exclusively in one camp. The newest addition to the nappy market is dual use nappies. These nappies can be used as a normal reusable nappy, with a reusable insert, but when the convenience of a disposable nappy is needed, the reusable outer can be used with a disposable insert.
This shift in the market is a reflection of recent consumer studies, including those by the Ethical Consumer Magazine, which have shown that four out of five users of reusable nappies, mix and match their use of disposable and reusable nappies.
In Malta the only brand of reusable nappy easily available is Bambino Mio, which is stocked by Home Trends Baby & Kids. Many European companies will also ship to Malta for a nominal delivery fee. For more information, advice and a wide range of brands look at Lizzies Real Nappies, Twinkle Twinkle and The Nappy Lady.