Thanks to a media spotlight on plastic pollution, manufacturers of traditional wet wipes have been unveiled as major pollutants in the fight against plastic.
But there is an answer. Mum & You created their biodegradable baby wipe in 2016, before the focus on plastic reduction gained the momentum we are seeing today.
- Are made using natural plant fibres
- Contain zero plastic
- will biodegrade in 15 days in landfill
So why do others contain plastic? We don’t know why other brands choose profit over sustainability, but the public is sending a strong message that will soon become impossible to ignore: We don’t want plastic.
When you’re trying to do the right thing for the planet, it’s easy to find yourself in an endless stream of information, so we want to cut to the facts. Here’s what you’ve been asking us, and what you need to know:
Do your wipes biodegrade, even in landfill?
Yes, in just 15 days! We test our wipes to make sure we’re delivering the most accurate information possible. In our last round of testing, we tested our wipes according to the conditions described in ASTM D5511 Standard Test Method for Determining Anaerobic Biodegradation of Plastic Materials Under High-Solids Anaerobic-Digestion Conditions (2018). This standard is recognised as the most appropriate to simulate landfill conditions. It is a high-solids anaerobic digestion test, it is a stationary (no mixing) and dry (>20% solids) fermentation, thereby simulating landfill conditions.
Can I compost your wipes?
Yes (again)! Wipes used for anything except dirty nappy changes can be home composted, and you can dispose of them with your garden waste in your home composter. They’ll take a little longer than 15 days this way, but will still break down completely.
Why don’t Huggies and Pampers make biodegradable wipes?
We have no idea. But we do know that by supporting smaller brands like ours, you’re not just buying eco-friendly products, you’re supporting a new generation of businesses that are focussed on creating a sustainable planet for our babies to inherit.
Are your wipes more expensive?
We’re actually a lot cheaper than some of the bigger brands! If you buy our wipes in bulk, they work out at just over £1 a pack. We have packs of 6, 12 or 24 to choose from, plus a regular subscription which saves you more money.
What are your wipes made from?
M&Y wipes are 98% water. We make them using plant fibres, designed to stay strong and soft while you use the wipes, and break down easily afterwards. No plastic, no microfibres, no damage. The plant fibres we use is produced from a variety of wood species including: beech, spruce, acacia, acer, birch, ash and some others, and is never mixed with other materials, ensuring they stay plastic free and natural.
Will your wipes biodegrade in a plastic nappy sack?
The short answer here is possibly but we have not tested this. The slightly longer answer is, don’t use plastic nappy sacks! If you’re cutting your plastic waste by using biodegradable baby wipes, doesn’t it seem counterintuitive to then throw them away in a plastic bag? You can dispose of them this way, and they may biodegrade, they’ll just take longer. However, the bag won’t. Biodegradable nappy sacks and bin liners are commonly available online.
How much methane is produced from the wipes breaking down?
In our trials we tested our wipes against a reference sample of cellulose. The production of methane was measured and our wipes produced the same amount of methane as the cellulose reference sample, meaning it will have the same output as another natural plant product, i.e. garden waste of the same size and weight.
Is the packet biodegradable?
Unfortunately, if the packet was biodegradable too it wouldn’t be able to hold the wipes without breaking down. However, we do package our nappies in a renewable sugarcane wrap, and avoid plastic wherever possible. Since starting our company we have massively decreased our plastic use, throughout the entire product journey.
Is the packet recyclable?
It is selectively recyclable. This means it varies according to local authorities and it is best to check with your local council as facilities vary. However, we are constantly working to improve this, and put time and effort in every day to researching better alternatives to quickly provide an even more sustainable solution. Watch this space.
I already buy your wipes. What else can I do to help?
Firstly, thank you! You’re supporting a small team of mums trying to do the right thing by shopping with us, and we’re very grateful. The best thing you can do is to help us spread the word. Tell everyone you know about our products – lots of people find them handy even without babies in their family! Follow us on social media, share our posts and help us tell the world we’re saying no to plastic wet wipes.