Disposable Diaper Smackdown: Seventh Gen VS Bambo Natural

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There has been a lot of talk about re-usable diapers on Inhabitots lately and the debate is great considering the limited sustainable options available to parents in the US. While mums and dads across the pond do have a green option in Bambo Nature nappies (that’s UK-speak for diapers), the closest disposable diaper mass-marketed in America under the guise of being sustainable is the Seventh Generation brand.

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The fact that Seventh Generation diapers are unfortunately no more natural, sustainable or recyclable than conventional diapers is plainly stated on the brand’s website. After clicking a link leading to their published ingredients, you will come across statements such as, “We use a small amount of blended color pigments to impart a tan color to our diapers… To the best of our knowledge, there are no known toxicity issues associated with the use of these pigments in our diapers,” and the added fact that Seventh Generation diapers “rely on man-made materials,” that, “are mostly petroleum-derived and are not renewable, which adversely impacts the environmental footprint associated with these products.”

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Bambo Nature nappies on the other hand, are as convenient as regular disposables, yet are “100% more biodegradable than high street brands.” Manufactured in Denmark by Abena and developed in collaboration with a core group of parents, the diapers have been awarded the Nordic Swan Certification for their minimal environmental impact and responsible eco practices. “The absorbent core has 50% less chemical gel than other eco–disposable nappies and a high percentage of starch – a natural absorber which is 100% biodegradable.” The biodegradable pulp used is harvested from sustainable Scandanavian forests where, according to one press clip, “more trees are planted than felled.” And a GIZMODO post states that the diaper biodegrades completely in 6 months or less.

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Bambo Natural nappies retail for £4.50 on the Bambo website, but are not yet available in the US. So what to do then, American moms and dads who seek a sustainable diaper option, but are scared of the time-commitment of cloth diapers? Try G-Diapers! Our editor Jill is a user and avid fan of G-Diapers. She says ‘They really aren’t much more of a pain than disposables, and in many ways are MORE convenient – when you consider the fact that you don’t have to deal with changing and cleaning a stinky diaper pail every few days’

UPDATE 5/10/10: Bambo Natural Diapers are now available in the US. Click here to order Bambo Natural Diapers.

+ G-Diapers
+Bambo Nature
+Abena
+Seventh Generation

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12 Responses to “Disposable Diaper Smackdown: Seventh Gen VS Bambo Natural”

  1. Diaperdandy says:

    there are also nature babycare diapers. they seem to do good work in terms of natural materials being used.

  2. There is also a line called Nature BabyCare developed by a Swedish mother. Nature BabyCare diapers are based on natural materials and will biodegrade. They have won several awards and are available in the US. The company, however, is operating on word of mouth to keep the cost of the diapers down. These diapers are not only biodegradable, but they are excellent performers and chlorine and dioxin free.

  3. Erika says:

    What about NATURE BABYCARE Diapers? They can be purchased in the US.

    I am not an expert but the description of these sound a bit more “green” than the 7th Gen?

    Thoughts?

  4. green mom says:

    I’ve done some research and don’t believe that any of these products are completely biodegradable. Bambo and Nature BabyCare don’t claim to be biodegradable on their sites.

  5. Desmond Williams says:

    After speaking with Dorthe Johansson, Sales Manager at Abena headquarters (who has just returned from a 1 year maternity leave, lucky gal) she confirmed that Bambo is approximately 90% biodegradable. She also shed light on the product’s absence from the US market. Apparently Pampers and the like have created a veritable marketing blockade constructed with patents, copyrights and other such legal restrictions. They’re not even allowed to call the Bambo Nature product ‘diapers’ if they ever make it to the US market.

  6. Shelby says:

    I myself loved using G diapers and would love to see someone develop a pull style pant for potty training. I have used the gamit of cloth and disposables and think inorder to make it main stream it has to be cute and easy. IMO G diapers has cornered the market on that.
    I have linked back to you on my blog modernorganicmama.com.
    Great job on the blog thanks and keep up the great job.

  7. Vannybean says:

    We use cloth diapers and use a dry pail which is no mess and you throw it in the washer. There are also all-in-one diaper options where the only extra step is instead of taking the trash out, you throw your bag in the wash. They might need some extra drying time is the downfall. I agree, nature babycare diapers are fabulous and we even have used them at night with a cloth diaper wrap over them for the long nights. No plastic–so you can even compost them!

  8. kate says:

    It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again: Nature Babycare diapers rule!! We were using gDiapers with the baby and had Seventh Generation as a backup because the gDiapers’ outer cloth pants were soiled so often. We found ourselves doing much more laundering than we’d anticipated (hardly green in CA). We had purchased 4 outer cloth pants, thinking it would be enough. But it wasn’t, so we were using Seventh Generation between laundry days. When I went to the store for more Seventh Generation, Nature Babycare diapers were sitting on the next shelf! The packaging looked great, but how was their performance? I asked the sales person how they compared to Seventh Generation and she said they were much better! I loved the fact that the wet ones are compostable, so I gave them a try and we haven’t looked back. We’ve since been buying them at diapers.com and they’re much less expensive than gDiapers!

    I have some gDiapers that I’d be willing to let go real cheap! jetkat at gmail dot com.

  9. Clark says:

    BAMBO Nature will be avalable in the US in January 2010. It is distributed exclusivly through KCK Industries. For avalability and pricing contact KCK at 888.880.1967

    BAMBO Nature nappies offer optimum comfort with minimum environmental impact. These eco disposable nappies are oxygen-bleached so are perfectly safe for baby skin. Raw materials used to produce the nappy are certified free from harmful chemicals. Furthermore, this nappy was awarded the Nordic Swan Eco Label for eco friendliness.

    We beleve this product exceeds requirments for sustainable production and our state-of-the-art use of raw meterials will make for a better day.

  10. Joe says:

    BAMBO Nature are available in Canada at the moment by the Abena Distributor WestCare Health Supplies. For information Contact at 866.417.6374

  11. Clark says:

    Bambo Nature is now avalable in the US. They will be avalable online through select eco-retailers and AMAZON. If you can not wait for a local retaler to stock the product contact KCK at 888.880.1967. We will kindly have them shiped out to you.

    Thank you for the support,
    Clark

  12. Ecomama206 says:

    BAMBO vs. NatureBabyCare vs. G Diapers: Nature Babycare Diapers RULE!!! We’ve been using them for the last 7+ months and just love their performance and small environmental footprint. I too started out using GDiapers full-time for my little one, but found after 3 months or so we were doing much more laundry of the cloth covers (and subsequently soiled clothing!) than we’d bargained for. We switched to Nature Babycare diapers and we haven’t looked back. They are convenient, better for the environment and VERY high performance (when “installed” correctly with gussets out and tabs pulled snuggly in front).

    I’ve been in touch with Naty, the manufacturer of nature Babycare and for all intensive purposes their diapers are 100% biodegradable. Some parts, such as the tabs and elastic, as well as the SAP, are not actually biodegradable, but when placed in a commercial facility, biodegrade very efficiently. The reason why they are stated to not biodegrade on their site is because of the hygeine factor: as human waste is involved and they don’t want to encourage consumers to place human waste in their community’s municipal compost. You can, however, compost these privately with the right tools.

    Interestingly, we just picked up a package of Bambo Nature diapers today and so far they seem very similar in look and performance to Nature Babycare. We are traveling in South Africa where Nature Babycare diapers are not available and these seem like the best “greenish” alternative. The only downside to Bambo Diapers is that the plastic they use in the outer layer does not appear to be biodegradable, whereas the plastic outer layer in Nature Babycare is corn-based, biodegradable plastic–making them one of the most eco-friendly diapers available on the market (G Diapers are probably more eco-friendly, but a lot less convenient because of the laundering involved). Cloth diapers are a totally different ballpark because of laundering involved, so while they’re probably the most eco friendly option out there, it’s hard to really know one way or the other. Nature Babycare have my vote for most convenient eco-friendly diaper!

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