Traditional baby wipes are usually made of polyester or polypropylene fiber, which means the wipes are made of harsh cloth. In addition, just like any other plastic, synthetic wipes take a long period to break down.
Just like disposable nappies, traditional baby wipes take hundreds of years to decompose.
Drainage pipes choke up from baby wipes being flushed in the toilet. Aquatic life gulps the wipes, and wipes fill up landfills over the many years.
Unlike conventional baby wipes, biodegradable wipes are made up of organic materials, such as wood pulp, bamboo, or cotton, and they break down into pieces in a few weeks. So, you still have the benefit of baby wipes in an eco-friendly package.
When it comes to biodegradable baby wipes, they will hang on the items used to produce the baby wipes. If the wipes are manufactured from synthetic items, such as plastic, they won’t decompose quickly, but they’ll rot easily if they’re manufactured from natural and organic items.
Of course, even biodegradable items differ in how long it takes to mix in the compost trash or landfill. In addition, new and technology-based dumps are secured to keep oxygen out, affecting the decomposition’s tempo.
Some of the most commonly used baby wipe cloth items are:
- Cotton: Cotton is the best choice for baby wipes because cotton is a plant to break down entirely over time. Cotton decays speedily in an oxygen-rich ecosystem.
- Bamboo: Baby wipes manufactured from bamboo’s decomposition are the fastest out of all of the items, which is why so many brands use bamboo. Some bamboo baby wipes can break down into pieces in as little as three weeks.
- Wood Pulp: Wipes made with wood pulp break down rapidly in as little as small pieces, taking only 12 weeks. It’s a great choice!
- Rayon: Rayon comes from trees, and it’s considered a semi-synthetic cellulosic fabric. In the appropriate circumstances, rayon can biodegrade faster than cotton, in about six weeks, but it would take decades also to biodegrade in a landfill. So, it would not be an ideal choice.
- Polyester: Everyone is familiar with polyester and its qualities, as it is a plastic material so that it won’t decompose over time. It’s a standard fabric used in clothing.
- Polypropylene: Polypropylene is another plastic material, so it would not decompose quickly. Don’t choose this material if you want biodegradable baby wipes.
- OECD 311: This standard is used to see how natural items will decompose in anaerobic circumstances without oxygen. It’s essential because most water treatment provisions use anaerobic to break down the alluvium from the drainage pipelines. It’s a test that completes in 60 days to see how the items break down.
- ASTM D5338: This standard is another test that analyzes aerobic biodegradation, which means oxygen when items are mixed with the common bacteria, and fungus found open in the ecosystem. In easy terms, it’s a composting test, and it completes in 90 days to see how well the tested items will decompose.
Ensure the baby wipes are manufactured from sustainable natural resources to break down into small pieces as quickly as possible. Before buying, always look at the ingredients of wipes, which should make from, such as bamboo, and how the items are sourced. In addition, they are suitable for the environment as they are biodegradable also.Never flush down the wipes, even if they are allowed as flushable. No matter how flushable a wipe affirms to be, it clogs up the drainage pipelines or is left open to the ocean, harming aquatic life.