Sunday, 12 July 2020

Washable Wipes for #plasticfreeJuly


We're packing a bag... We're going out for the day! And that means a couple of nappies and some washable wipes.


I genuinely don't think I've ever heard of anybody regretting making the swap to reusable wipes.They clean far more effectively (even with a dirty nappy we use 2 wipes whereas it takes a good handful of disposables.) And once you have some you never need to buy baby wipes again. Unlike with cloth nappies, where I end up coveting new prints because they're pretty, I don't have the same temptation with wipes so they're genuinely cost efficient. We've had our set of 30 wipes from The Nappy Lady since Eden was born - they wash and wear beautifully and they will probably become cleaning cloths long after she's out of nappies. These wipes are particularly special as they're smooth fleece on one side and grippy cotton on the other which makes cleaning any nappy situation super easy and extra gentle. We also have some coloured Cheeky Wipes which we use for drying, hands and faces. Wipes are fine to be used with just water which is what I do on the go, although at home I keep them presoaked in a tupperware with a few drops of lavender oil.

Of course cloth wipes aren't the only washable wipes we have in our house - we have and use cleaning cloths, flannels, makeup removal pads, and my spray mop with washable pads is a life saver. All of these are an alternative to the enormous disposable wipe industry - but baby wipes, floor wipes, anti bac wipes, makeup wipes almost all contain plastic fibres that are not biodegradable. When the wipes eventually make their way into the ocean, they are ingested by sea creatures such as turtles who mistake them for jellyfish where it stays in the stomach of the animal, very often resulting in them dying of starvation. Wet wipes are literally changing the shape of our river beds, blocking our sewers, polluting our water with microfibres - all for our "convenience". Recently I even learned about "fatbergs" - giant congealed lumps of fat and rubbish in sewer systems. In 2019 a 40-tonne fatberg the size of a double-decker bus, and weighing as much as three, was been cleared from a London sewer. Fatbergs are formed when fat, oil and grease are poured down sinks and drains and combine with other unflushable items including wet wipes, nappies and cotton buds. Does that freak anyone else out as much as if does me?

This is a huge issue that is so easy to avoid, we can do better by making a simple and easy switch. Have you switched to reusable wipes yet?
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