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Plastic Free July 3rd: Disposable Baby Wipes

Baby wipes aren’t just for babies. Adults have developed a fondness for disposable wipes as well. We plough through millions of them, and it’s a massive problem for our environment and infrastructure.

The disposable wipe does an important job. It makes cleaning someone else’s bottom slightly less horrendous than it would otherwise be. Nobody can argue with that. But many disposable baby wipes contain plastic, so they are a logical #plasticfreejuly swap.

Household, baby, and face wipes are frequently made from cotton woven with polyester, and the manufacturers usually don’t make this clear. The wipes don’t break down once they’ve been binned (or, well, flushed down the loo). Plastic wipes cause blockages, even if they make it out of your drains without a problem.

A massive 93% of all of the sewer blockages in the UK were found to be caused by disposable wipes. One of the blockages found in London was the length of two football pitches. A two-hour examination of the Thames resulted in the removal of 23,000 wipes. That’s 473 bin bags full of wipes. The bed of the Thames, at one point, features a lump of plastic 50 metres wide and a metre high.

Our use of these products has to stop if we want our kids to have any chance of seeing rivers actually flowing. Otherwise, we are just turning them into plastic dumping grounds.

Swapping Disposable Baby Wipes

This is a fairly easy plastic free swap. Lasinoh’s Earth Friendly Baby wipes are

  • readily available in stores and online
  • made from only natural organic ingredients
  • free from plastic in the wipe itself. 
They are pricier than some of the big brands, admittedly, but eco-friendly options are rarely cheaper than the alternative. And when looking at products like baby wipes, be sure to compare the pack size. One pouch of Earth Friendly Baby wipes contains 72 wipes, while the brand I was using before contains 56. 
There are a few other plastic free brands on the market, including Beaming Baby.

    Reusables Are a Better Option

    The outer packaging of the Lasinoh wipes is unfortunately not just single use plastic. It’s not suitable for your green bin either.

    So these wipes are not a perfect solution to the thorny issue of bearable bum wiping, and reusable baby wipes are a better option.

    You can buy reusables online pretty much anywhere; independent baby shops and reusable nappy retailers always stock them. If you don’t have cash to splash on bamboo reusables, old cotton towels cut into squares work just fine too. 

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