Are Baby Wipes Biodegradable?

The joy of motherhood is one of the most anticipated moments in a woman’s life. Every woman looks forward to the day she holds her baby in her arms. The birth of a child is exciting to both the mother and father. However, taking proper care of the baby is not a trivial issue.

The birth of a child is accompanied by great responsibility on both parents. Since babies cannot talk, they are completely dependent on their parents for everything, from feeding to bathing, clothing, and every other necessity essential for the child’s growth and development.

pack-of-baby-wipes

Cleaning up a baby’s poo is a job every new mother has to take. They are usually inexperienced. Nevertheless, they gain the skill required. But, with the invention of baby wipes, cleaning up a baby has become a whole lot easier. Baby wipes have eliminated the stress of having to wash a baby after a visit to the loo.

With the frequent use of baby wipes, a question keeps arising, how do we get rid of used baby wipes? How do we dispose of them in an environmentally conscious way? Well, we will provide answers to these questions in this blog post. So, dive in!

Are Any Baby Wipes Biodegradable?

Recently, there has been a lot of bad press on baby wipes. Have you wondered why there is so much fuss about baby wipes? The reason is that there has been increased production of baby wipes to meet up with the demand of the public but, there has been no proper way to dispose of them.

There are different brands and types of baby wipes, and these wipes are manufactured from different products, so they all have different chemical properties. Not all baby wipes are biodegradable. About 80% of all baby wipes produced are not biodegradable.

You should know that although some baby wipes are biodegradable, they are not manufactured from organic products. Biodegradable baby wipes are made from natural materials like organic cotton, viscose rayon, wood pulp, and bamboo. This type of baby wipes eventually breaks down into smaller parts after a while.

Baby wipes that are not biodegradable contain a substantial amount of plastic, making it very difficult for them to be broken down.

Nevertheless, baby wipes, including biodegradable and non-biodegradable, have the same manufacturing materials. Water, sorbates, phenoxyethanol, parabens, benzoates, and glycerin are the major materials baby wipes are produced from.

Are you looking for biodegradable baby wipes to purchase instead of non-biodegradable ones? We have a couple of them for you. Simply Gentile Organic Baby Wipes, Recover Multi-Action Wipes, Natracare, Eco-Friendly Nappy Brand Naty, Baby Green Baby Wipes, to mention a few.

If you are one of the few people who have decided to save our environment, you will embrace the use of biodegradable baby wipes. Although it might cost more than non-biodegradable baby wipes, the decision to do the right thing to protect our environment is stronger than reducing costs.

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Are Baby Wipes Compostable?

An environmentally conscious person will be very concerned with the current state of our environment. Pollution is the fastest way to damage our environment, and there seems to be no solution yet on a global level. However, we can protect our environment in our little way.

We are not in control of what is produced in the industries, but we are in full control of what we purchase. By avoiding products that damage the environment, industries producing them would be forced to strategize.

No, baby wipes are not compostable. During the manufacturing process of baby wipes, plastic and other synthetic fibers are included. These fibers do not break down into compost; rather, they break up, leaving many synthetic fibers in the soil.

Compostable products break down under certain conditions. Composting occurs faster than biodegrading, but only under the most appropriate conditions. When compostable products break down, they break down into non-toxic components that act as fertilizers for the plant. Baby wipes do not undergo all these.

Since baby wipes are not compostable, they end up filling up space in the landfills. The different products used to manufacture baby wipes do not decompose. The wet bit of the wipe contains perfumes, moisturizing lotions, and even detergents. These pose a problem in the landfills, making them difficult to decompose.

Baby wipes labeled as anti-bacterial wipes usually contain isopropyl alcohol, disrupting the balance of the microorganisms in the compost heap. When these toxins and chemicals are released into the soil, rather than act as fertilizer, they make the soil unproductive, and it becomes very difficult to grow crops.

Also, what you used the baby wipes to clean is another reason baby wipes are not compostable. Human fecal matter, oil, and greases would only attract rats and other destructive rodents to the heap. These destructive rodents do not always have a good impact on the soil.

When baby wipes have been used with cleaning products, especially those with bleach and other anti-bacterial properties, rather than decompose when dumped in the landfill, it kills off all the bacteria and microorganisms that should break the baby wipes down.

Are Water Wipes Biodegradable?

There are different wipes, baby wipes, water wipes, dry wipes, and toddler wipes. Deciding the type of wipe to purchase can be a little challenging, but in the end, you have to choose the wipe that fits perfectly with what you want to do with it.

Water wipes are also called wet wipes, and they are used to clean up adult or general mess. They often contain cleansers, anti-bacterial, and other chemicals that would most likely irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.

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There are biodegradable water wipes, and there are non-biodegradable water wipes. However, there are more non-biodegradable water wipes than there are biodegradable water wipes. Even the biodegradable water wipes take a very long time to be broken down in the landfills.

Baby wipes are a type of water wipes, so they are manufactured from the same products. The only difference is the level of the composition of the products in baby wipes. Baby wipes are produced with just a few chemical cleansers and anti-bacterial used in other wet wipes to avoid irritation on babies’ sensitive skin.

Although wet wipes are produced from paper to make them fluffy, soft, and absorbent, synthetic fibers are sometimes used to produce them. The synthetic fibers increase the durability and softness of the wet wipes.

Some water wipes are produced from a mix of biodegradable materials like viscose and non-biodegradable materials like polyester. These brands of water wipes do not fully biodegrade because of the mixture of the two materials. The viscose in the water wipes biodegrade, but the polyester does not.

Are Baby Wipes Bad for the Environment?

Wipes, baby wipes, and wet wipes included always come in handy. We all would have used a baby wipe or wet wipe to clean our faces, hands, children, worktops, and almost everything else at a point. But, have you ever wondered if the baby wipes you like to have with you pose a threat to the environment?

Most of us do not see any harm in using a baby wipe, and we see them the same way we see toilet paper, only that they are more efficient. But, these seemingly harmless wet tissues pose one of the biggest threats to the environment. They are not as harmless as we think they are.

Many baby wipes manufactured contain synthetic fibers and plastics. These are all dangerous to the environment, and they are not organic, so they cannot be broken down by microorganisms and bacteria.

When the baby wipes eventually biodegrade, they break down into microplastics. These microplastics will continue to harm, pollute, and disrupt the ecosystem of the environment.

A survey proves that the average human inhales about seventy-four thousand microplastic particles annually and consumes between thirty-nine thousand to fifty-two thousand microplastic particles.

Few people are aware of this fact. Hence, the demand for baby wipes has not been declining. If you are concerned with the state of your environment, seeing the harm baby wipes cause to the environment and even humans, you would be sure to cut down on its usage.

The number of baby wipes being cleared out of the ocean is a cause for alarm. These wipes are not organic, and they pose a big threat to aquatic organisms. Fishes, crabs, shrimps, octopuses have ended up dead because we carelessly dispose of baby wipes.

When you use a baby wipe to clean up a baby after a visit to the loo or use it to clean any other surface, and do not dispose of it properly, it will find its way into the oceans, the stains on them can attract the aquatic organisms, and when they try to consume them, they end up consuming toxins and harmful chemicals.

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Can You Flush Baby Wipes Down the Toilet?

The assumption is that since baby wipes are used to clean up a child’s mess, they can be flushed down the toilet. This assumption has been the reason for the increased number of blocked sewers in different countries worldwide.

Many people believe the toilet has a strong flush to flush down anything they put in it. Toilet bowls were never designed for flushing baby wipes or any other type of wipes.

Baby wipes should never be flushed down the toilets. Some brands label their baby wipes as flushable and biodegradable. Nevertheless, you should never flush any baby wipes down the toilet.

Baby wipes and toilet papers are not produced from the same materials, so you must not expect them to break down the same way. When you flush toilet paper, the water is strong enough to break down the toilet paper because it is not tightly bonded.

But, baby wipes are tightly bonded, and flushing them down the toilet bowl would only end up clogging your toilet bowls. Baby wipes block both the toilet trap and the sewage because they are not broken down at all. You could end up damaging your plumbing and machinery.

Flushing baby wipes down the toilet would only require a plumber to fix the blockage in the toilet seat and sewage. When baby wipes are mixed with grease, fat, and other dirt in the sewer system, it can cause an impenetrable mess. This could even make the plumber find it very difficult to clear, and you would end up spending more.

If you have flushed baby wipes down the toilet once, the probability that your toilet will be blocked is about seventy-five percent. Since the baby wipes are not broken down, they are still in the sewers or even the toilet traps. And gradually, the baby wipes begin to form a blockade every time you flush anything down the toilet bowl.

So, to avoid a toilet or sewer blockage and the need to call a plumber to clear the mess all out, avoid disposing of baby wipes by flushing them down the toilet. There are better ways to dispose of them.

Conclusion

To enjoy the best from the environment, we need to do everything possible to protect it. We cannot damage our environment and expect to enjoy our stay in it. We all have to become environmentally conscious.

Suppose you have been careless with disposing of unwanted and used materials, please, fix-up. This is the time for us to do the right thing and protect our environment.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.