Choosing diaper   

It’s easy to say diaper!

Since in Italy the diaper is 99% "disposable", it is a common belief that the diapers are all the same and that they are only disposable.

Actually there are also diapers "washable" that people in more environmentally conscious world areas have already started to use with a good preference by consumers more sophisticated.

Therefore the question what is the best nappy (washable vs. disposable) has no obvious answer.

All manufacturers have been scrambling to produce mountains of data to prove that their approach (disposable or washable) was the best (for benefits, acceptability by the child, environment).

As there are no non-partisan organizations that have made ​​a careful study, and especially since the mode of waste management varies from country to country (and often within the same country), it is easy to conclude that there is no single answer valid for all conditions.

This is the reason why it has been developed the product Levita® Duetto™, to pursue the good points of both sides and provide a product with the right mix of:

  • convenience;
  • hypoallergenic;
  • naturalness;
  • sustainability.

Levita Duetto is a hybrid diaper because it's halfway between a "disposable" and a "washable" and has the more advantageous features of both types.

   Disposable   

The disposable diaper, as we know it, is not very old and was born in Sweden after the war in 1947. Initially it consisted of simple sheets of tissue paper overlapping  to form a sort of tape (hence the term still in use "Swedish" to indicate a type of rectangular diaper).

The retention capacity was very low, but such was the feeling of greater convenience and hygiene that immediately the "Swedish" is stated as the best product. Over the years the product has evolved and many materials were added in a constant race to the improvement and innovation.

We refer to the following components:

  • plastic film to contain liquids;
  • plastic films for adhesive fasteners and especially mechanical fasteners (velcro type);
  • super (polyacrylate) to increase the retention capacity (up to 100 times the weight);
  • elastic materials (polyurethane) to improve the fit;
  • glues and various creams.

The product as it is today is very different from the initial one. Its production costs much more energy and especially it has become very difficult to dispose of.

How to make it
The production process is very complex because it consists of operations sequences carried out in quick succession that can not be stopped or delayed. The machines cut, bend, weld and compress feeding materials, which are carried out continuously: and nearly all synthetic materials. The only natural material is still fluff pulp, which is obtained from the trees, and residing in the absorbent pad.

One of the most famous brands of diapers has already introduced diapers "no fluff" (as they are even thinner) reaching an interesting milestone for the 100% synthetic product.

How to use it
The product is disposable and, therefore, you waste it (completely) after use. Modern products are very thin and have absorption capacity far beyond average needs. For the wide use of synthetic materials they hold the skin very dry even when the child has filled up diaper. But are we sure this is really an advantage?

In the early 80's, before the tremendous run-up to who was the 'driest”, and therefore the increase to the maximum possible absorbing diaper capacity, you used on average 7/8 products per day. Today the average is barely 4 diapers per day.

It could seem a good improvement  because less diapers you use the more you save. The reality is quite different. The average age of abandonment of the diaper is risen. While in the past children in the first 18 months learned to manage their needs, nowadays they get even at 24/36 months or more before stopping diapers use.

You do not make children feel the wetness and they do not respond and do not learn.

How to waste it

After use, the product is rolled up and thrown in the rubbish (dry). The diaper product, especially when wrapped with the waterproof part outside is basically difficult to manage in a landfill or composting plant because naturally it takes more than 500 years to disintegrate.

In Italy, where separate collection is carried out, the used diapers consitute the largest part of rubbish. This is because the diaper is not suitable, in the form it has today, to follow the “wet” waste". Plastics and adhesives would pollute the compost, even if in some cities you can waste them in the damp , and for this reason must be separated before the composting process.

So where do diapers go?

It seems that the only way is the incinerator with all the environmental issues that this entails.

   Washable   

Diaper was born "washable". Cotton patches have always been used for children and usually triangular or rectangular folded properly. The tips of the triangle are joined at the front of the child with the safety pins. Inside the triangle are placed fabric rectangles, depending on the absorbency required and the size of the bundle that you are willing to accept.

Today's cloth diapers are an evolution of this concept to make more simple changing the child and management of the diaper. Instead of using a triangle of cloth, you use a diaper  in the shape and size as we know it today, but consisting only of fabric reusable instead of disposable. There is no need to be an expert in forming and using diaper pins.

The diaper is used in the classical way and after use you put it in the washing machine, perhaps making sure to remove the bulk of production of the child. After drying, the product is ready for a new cycle.

The advantages over a "disposable" are obvious:

  • cost;
  • eco-compatibility;
  • minor skin irritations.

Cost advantage is given by the lower outlay for cloth diapers than disposables. You change baby 4/5 times a day with 20/25 diapers, and then you have to wash used diapers every 2/3 days. The expenditure is around 300/400 €. Much less than the 1.000/1.500 € necessary for the purchase of disposable diapers for the first 3 years of child's life. Not to mention that in case of a second son the washable diapers kit can be completely reused.

The eco-friendliness is evident. Instead of throwing away the diaper after use, it is completely reusable. Of course you have to spent and consume something to wash the diaper after use, but it is a fraction of the energy for the production of a new disposable diaper!

Skin irritations decrease especially when using products made from natural fabrics. The synthetic fabrics, that are the basis of disposable diapers, favor the appearance of skin irritations much more than natural fabrics. In addition, cleaning and disinfecting products by yourself make you safer on the cleanliness and sterility of diapers that your child is to wear.

   Hybrid   

During recent years baby diaper has been transformed from washable in hybrid in mid of '40s. Actually what it was advertised as disposable it was what today we would call hybrid. In fact it was consisting of a waterproof short, to be closed by few safety pins, and an internal absorbent pad, made completely by cellulose. The insert pad had no waterproodf side and it was very similar to some big absorbent pads presently used for post-partum.

In some years hybrid diapers lost in popularity versus disposable diapers. Absorbent pads gained waterproof side and an elastic chassis suitable to completely hug baby's waist. This freed parents from washing diapers: disposable nappies come to reality.

Actually, today hybrid diaper is very different from the ancient one:

  • technical fabrics with quick dry properties are used;
  • absorbent pad has a very effective structure and it is very absorbent;
  • it is a real leisure apparell to be coupled to baby cloths;
  • it is very convenient, thin and groovy.
 

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