SEATTLE, Wash. -- Compostable diapers, developed in Sweden and sold in Northern Europe, are now being imported by Norsea Natural here and picked up by major supermarket chains in the United States.
The diapers, called Nature Boy & Girl, are made to be environmentally friendly, but at the same time, comparison tests show that they perform as well as or better than nationally known brands, according to Marit Fischer, a spokeswoman for the importer.
The patented design and construction of Nature Boy & Girl uses substantially more biodegradable materials than other diapers, and far less raw material in the manufacturing process, Norsea said.
The diaper's cornstarch-based backsheet is 100% compostable, which means it loses 85% of its weight in 45 days in a composting bin. In this same environment, 70% of the diaper will decompose. In a landfill, the cornstarch-based backsheet will degrade more quickly than plastic-backed diapers, which last for more than 100 years in a landfill. The only plastic parts on the Nature Boy & Girl diaper are the sticky tabs, and those are being replaced with more of the cornstarch-based plastic substitute, Fischer said. Suggested retail price is $7.49 a package, containing 20 diapers in size extra large or 30 diapers in size small.
"After speaking to our customers, we realized the importance of providing an environmentally friendly disposable nappy to our shoppers," said Toby Anderson, J Sainsbury's manager for baby, paper and pet care products. "We have worked in close partnership with the supplier, and are delighted to be the first U.K. supermarket to offer the Nature Boy & Girl diapers," Anderson said. Nature Boy & Girl diapers have been available at Sainsbury stores since Sept. 5.