For disposable diapers and nappies, a variation of the following process is used to create the pads which are then formed into the diaper.
When harvesting the bamboo the cuts are made cleanly which encourages new growth without having to replant.
- The first stage is where the bamboo gets broken up into chips, similar to how woodchip looks.
- A second crushing process ensures the bamboo is finely broken down and is then soaked.
- This Bamboo pulp goes through a pulveriser process to grind down the fibres even further.
- Nets are used to skim off the finest, softest bamboo ‘cotton’. At this stage, it can be taken away to be spun into thread to make bamboo garments.
- This ‘cotton’ is passed between pressured rollers to create a thick, absorbent layer
- Then a vegetable-based adhesive sticks either bamboo fabric or paper on both sides of the pad.
- The pad is then formed into a diaper ready for use.
Is bamboo better than cotton for diapers?
Compared to cotton and paper, bamboo wadding has several advantages when it comes to making disposable diapers.
- Absorbency: Bamboo makes an excellent option for diapers with the bamboo wadding being 70% more absorbent than cotton.Bamboo wadding is known for its high absorbency, which is crucial for a diaper’s performance. Bamboo fibers are naturally porous and can hold up to three times their weight in liquid. This means that bamboo wadding can absorb more liquid than cotton and paper, making it an excellent choice for disposable diapers.
- Softness: Bamboo wadding is incredibly soft to the touch, making it gentle on a baby’s delicate skin. Unlike cotton, which can sometimes feel rough or scratchy, bamboo fibers are naturally silky and smooth. This makes bamboo wadding an excellent choice for disposable diapers as it ensures maximum comfort for babies.
- Breathability: Bamboo wadding is highly breathable, which is essential for keeping a baby’s skin dry and healthy. Unlike paper, which can trap moisture and cause irritation, bamboo wadding allows air to circulate freely, keeping babies’ skin cool and dry.
- Eco-Friendly: Bamboo is a sustainable and renewable resource that grows quickly without the need for pesticides or fertilizers. This makes it a more eco-friendly choice than cotton, which requires a lot of water and chemicals to grow. Additionally, bamboo wadding is biodegradable, making it a more environmentally friendly option than paper, which often ends up in landfills.
- Antibacterial: Bamboo fibers contain a natural antibacterial agent called “bamboo kun,” which helps to reduce the growth of bacteria and odors. This means that bamboo wadding can help to keep disposable diapers fresher and more hygienic for longer periods, reducing the need for frequent changes.
How sustainable are bamboo diapers?
Unlike cotton, bamboo doesn’t require any additional fertilizers or pesticides to grow and can regenerate itself from the roots so there’s no need to use machines to re-cultivate the land it uses.
Bamboo also absorbs almost 30% more carbon dioxide than other plants and trees, including cotton.
If you haven’t switched to reuseable cloth diapers (also available in bamboo options) then replacing standard diapers with bamboo is the next best thing.
Composting disposable bamboo diapers is an eco-friendly way to dispose of them, as it keeps them out of landfills and reduces waste. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to compost disposable bamboo diapers:
- Remove any solid waste from the diaper: Before composting the bamboo diaper, it’s essential to remove any solid waste from it. You can do this by shaking the waste into the toilet or using a diaper sprayer to rinse it off.
- Tear the diaper into small pieces: Once you’ve removed the solid waste, tear the diaper into small pieces. This will help it decompose more quickly and evenly.
- Add the diaper to your compost bin: Add the torn pieces of the bamboo diaper to your compost bin, mixing it with other compostable materials such as kitchen scraps, yard waste, and other organic materials.
- Keep the compost moist: It’s important to keep the compost moist to promote decomposition. This can be done by watering the compost regularly or covering it with a tarp to prevent it from drying out.
- Turn the compost: Turning the compost regularly helps to aerate it and speed up the decomposition process. You can use a garden fork or a compost tumbler to turn the compost.
- Wait for the compost to mature: It typically takes around six months to a year for the compost to mature fully. Once the compost is dark and crumbly, it’s ready to use in your garden.
It’s important to note that not all disposable bamboo diapers are compostable. Some brands use synthetic materials or additives that may not break down in compost. It’s best to check the packaging or contact the manufacturer to ensure that the bamboo diapers you’re using are compostable.
Did you know a normal diaper takes over 500yrs to fully decompose, whereas bamboo diapers take around 75 days.
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