When I found out I was pregnant one of the things I felt passionately about, was nappies. I didn’t know a lot about them to be honest. All I knew was that I didn’t want toxic chemical products on my bubs bits, and that throwing ‘away’ thousands of nappies to landfill over Leo’s infancy didn’t sit well with me.
I’ve since learned A LOT. The reality looks like this; more than 4 million plastic nappies are being sent to landfill every day, in Australia alone. Globally, well – you can barely fathom. Much to my disappointment I also learned that even the ‘eco-friendly’ disposables are misleading in their marketing and none are completely biodegradable. With an average 200-500 years for an average nappy to break down, it takes only some rough mental calculations to see that we don’t have enough land to fill to keep up with global disposable nappy usage. What a woeful legacy to leave our babies.
I’ll admit, the process of change is a slow and steady one for me. I decided to be practical in my approach as a first time mumma, and to minimize the overwhelm we started off with ‘eco-friendly’ disposables. About 3 months into Leo’s life earth-side I made a commitment to shift to Modern Cloth Nappies (MCN’s) using a full service local business that manages the supply and laundering. This service was BRILLIANT and I highly recommend Little Eco Baby, however the amount of water used in washing reusables played on my mind. I also found that they were pretty bulky and needed to be super tight around Leo’s chunky thighs to avoid leaks. He forever had big indentations on his bum from the bunched fabric & elastic and I just felt a niggling concern knowing that there is an intricate lymphatic system in the groin and wonder whether it could cause some kind of restriction on a system designed to remove toxicity from the body (*please note this is my personal opinion only).
Then I found Eenee, a Tasmanian based company with a compostable nappy alternative that is also completely toxic chemical free.
The Down Low on the Eenee
Eenee’s are unlike any other disposable, and are a hybrid of sorts. It uses a super soft, side opening pull-up pant which is designed to hold their commercially compostable nappy pads. It is the first and only nappy to be endorsed by Compost Australia, the world’s first plastic free disposable nappy. Let me repeat that, the world’s first plastic free nappy. Designed and created right here in Australia.
I was at first a little skeptical, but after reading all of the reviews on the website I got in touch with the Eenee team and committed to trying these babies out. Both Mitch and I agree these are an incredible product which harnesses the ease of a disposable (you simply remove the soiled pad from the fabric outer pull-up, and replace with a fresh pad) while being truly environmentally sustainable, and toxic chemical free.
Unlike bamboo inserts used with MCN’s, the slim-line pad insert is designed with a ‘frill’ (common on most disposables), which is twofold in preventing leaks while protecting the outer pull up from being soiled. We can say honestly, we do not have regular leaks with Eenee (once in a blue moon Leo will wet-through but that would occasionally happen even with a disposable), and the fabric pull-up is super soft and doesn’t need to be swapped out after every change.
The other major win for us is that the Eenee pad is completely non-toxic. When you consider that our baby’s bums are in almost 24/7 contact with nappies, and that the skin is the body’s largest organ, it is a scary thought that most supermarket nappies contain a basket load of unwanted chemicals that are widely acknowledged as damaging to our health.
So, why isn’t everyone using Eenee?
Put simply, they are still a relatively small family owned company that sell direct to the public and need eyes and ears and exposure.
The family run Eenee team is working tirelessly with Councils around Australia to get Eenee nappies accepted in residential Food & Green Organics (FOGO) bins. This is an (unnecessarily) complex issue due to the ‘human waste’ element, but progress is being made. Ultimately, even in the case of these nappies going to landfill – they have the potential to completely biodegrade, while also using far less resources to manufacture in the first place. It seems to be a no-brainer in terms of gaining support, so let’s look at the cost.
The Eenee pull ups retail at $25.95 each with the per-pad cost starting at 55c (depending on pad/carton size). With some of the cheapest plastic nappies priced as little as 28c each I’ll admit there’s a big cumulative cost difference.
I write this with an appreciation of the financial strain that many households are under, however, we must consider the following truth; that every piece of plastic ever produced is still in existence and will continue to be for 200+ years – it’s even finding its way into our food chain. We cannot continue at this pace of consumption.
We must, at a ground roots level, begin to place pressure on councils and government to make big changes, whether through subsidizations or support and investment in green alternatives. In the meantime, I’ll happily make changes around my home to afford Eenee because if posed with the question of whether Netflix or a daily coffee or an itunes subscription or gym membership is more important than the future of life on earth (a question that is ludicrously real) … I know the answer.
Last month I got onto my local council’s waste disposal contractors, and had a wonderful chat to their Education Officer. I was so happy to hear that they were not only interested in learning more about the Eenee product, but also that they were keen to potentially run a trial with our personal home waste – to test the product locally with their commercial composting practices. I’ve also learned that Bega Valley Shire Council are underway with their Eenee FOGO trial across 50 homes, and just want to say bravo for stepping up.
*insert a little happy dance. It’s a brilliant start.
I have been blown away with the Eenee product and so incredibly proud that a globally recognized and awarded innovation was born in Australia.
As Mothers to
the next generation, it’s critical that we lead the charge because burying our
heads in the
sand landfill is no longer an option. I absolutely want
every Aussie nappy-changing mum to get on board with this product, and to put
pressure on local councils and government to support this exciting and necessary
I will of course keep you posted on my updates as I continue to communicate with my local Council. You can shop the Eenee Pull-Up here and the Compostable Pads here. If you have any questions about the product or about my experience please comment below! You can find some helpful How-To videos over on their website which demonstrate exactly how the system works.
*This is not a sponsored post. I will continue to talk about the things I’m most passionate about, as I continue my journey to a healthier and more sustainable household.