Reusable v disposable wipes – all you need to knowPublished on
Fans of reusable wipes claim they help save money, while disposables devotees say they offer the ultimate in convenience.
But which are better for baby, planet and pocket?
The deal with reusables
Reusable wipes are essentially pieces of cloth which you can either buy (or make at home if you’re so inclined) for cleaning your baby’s poops, wees and other mucky messes.
Dirty cloths are washed either by hand, or in your washing machine, and reused. If you’re out and about, the soiled wipes can be carried in a container and added to the laundry basket once home.
As you might imagine, reusable wipes mean a fair bit of washing! For one baby alone, reusable wipes will probably need to be washed every other day (unless you buy masses of them). This will obviously involve using a considerable amount of energy (and we don’t just mean yours).
Washing and drying a 5kg load of laundry every two days creates nearly 440kg of carbon dioxide emissions in a year, according to The Clean Homes Guide.
Furthermore, Whirlpool say a standard washing machine uses 20 gallons of water per load.
You can cut emissions by hand washing and by drying laundry on a line rather than in a tumble-dryer, but this is a tad time consuming and somewhat labour intensive!
Your washing detergent will also determine the environmental impact of reusables. While biological liquid or powder is best for zapping stubborn stains, the harsh chemical ingredients aren’t great news for the planet. Even many non-bio formulas contain chemicals. You can lessen the impact by seeking out truly green detergent and by putting on washing loads less frequently.
A final consideration is the type of cloth you use for wiping. Reusable wipes can be made from materials such as cotton or microfibres. Microfibre cloths are actually made from plastic and therefore cannot be recycled. There are also some concerns that washing them can cause microplastics to be released into our waterways, so we recommend doing your research before buying.
What’s the story with disposable wipes?
The height of convenience, disposable baby wipes have become a change-bag staple. These single use wipes can quickly clear up messy faces, hands and bottoms and often enriched with skin-soothing ingredients.
What’s the environmental cost?
Unfortunately, 90% of wet wipes sold in the UK contain polluting plastic. This means they take up to 100 years to biodegrade in landfill and cause sewer clogging fatbergs if flushed.
The Pura alternative
Aiming to make eco easy for all busy parents, Pura’s 100% plastic-free disposable baby wipes mean parents don’t have to compromise on convenience, quality or the desire to be planet-friendly.
Made from biodegradable plant fibres, Pura’s 100% plastic-free, biodegradable and compostable baby wipes contain 99% water and nourishing organic aloe vera, ensuring they are safe on newborns and eczema-prone skin.
Pura also offers genuinely flushable wipes which have been certified as Fine to Flush – the UK’s newest flushable standard. This means they have passed Water UK’s rigorous scientific testing and are 100% safe to pass through the sewerage system.
All wipes can be bought on a discounted subscription plan, meaning you can save more than the planet. They can also be purchased in bulk and delivered direct to your door to save on transportation costs. Easy, just like eco should be.
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