All about liners

What are liners?

Liners are a thin material that are placed inside the nappy and go between the nappy and the baby’s bottom.  They are designed to catch solid matter (poo), but for liquid (urine) to go straight through.

Why use liners?

The main reason people use liners is to catch the solid poos and make it easier to clean the nappies.  Liners are also useful if you want to use nappy or barrier creams or ointments as they protect your cloth nappies from any oil build up, which could prevent the nappies from absorbing moisture.  Another great reason for using the liners is that they create a stay-dry layer between the wet nappy and baby’s bottom.

Do I have to use them?

No, they are entirely optional.

What are Real Nappies liners?

Real Nappies liners are made from Ingeo, the world’s first man-made fibres from 100% natural, renewable resources.  Basically, Real Nappies liners are a very thin layer of corn starch.  Corn starch means that we can make a liner that doesn’t disintegrate immediately on contact with liquid (such as urine) but allows it to pass through to the prefold beneath while catching solid matter (such as poo). 

Are there other varieties of liners?

Yes.  There are a couple of other liner varieties. 

  • Bamboo liners, which are pretty much the same as corn starch, but made from bamboo not corn.
  • Micro-fleece liners, which are reusable liners made from micro-fleece.

Why do you make your liners from cornstarch?

Corn starch is a biodegradable product.  At Real Nappies, we try to promote natural and plastic free as much as possible.  We don’t promote the use of microfibres and micro-fleece as every time microfibre is washed (and nappies are washed A LOT) little fragments end up in our water ways and in our oceans and currently 80% of the plastic in our oceans and found in our fish comes from microfibres.  You can read a little more on this in our blog HERE.

Can I reuse the Real Nappies liners?

To a point.  The liners can go through the washing machine about 2-3 times before they start to breakdown and you will need to dispose of them.

How do I dispose of Real Nappies liners?

There are a variety of environmentally friendly ways you can dispose of Real Nappies liners.  Composting is one of the best ways to dispose of them because they are 100% biodegradable.  Other options include recycling, anaerobic digestion, chemical recycling, incineration or landfill.  

Please note, that if your council collects green waste, please check with them first before adding your dirty liners to your green waste bins. 

Can the liners be flushed?

This is a tricky question with no real clear answer unfortunately. 

There has been a lot of talk in the media about what is termed "flushable", particularly in relation to wipes (which are often synthetic and quite different to our biodegradable liners), and there is currently no cohesive guidance from regulators on this.  This means that while some councils are happy for them to be flushed, others are not so sure.  Mostly, we believe this comes from a lack of knowledge about the product.

The liners have been designed to break down within the sewage system.  As mentioned above, one of the ways of disposing of them and breaking them down is though anaerobic digestion.  Anaerobic digestion is part of the Secondary Treatment used by water treatment systems to deal with solid waste in the sewage systems.  

While we believe that poo should be dealt with via the correct treatment systems rather than landfill, because of the ambiguity around the issue of the liners, we advise that you check with your local council first before flushing your liners. 

We are unsure as to how well they will work in septic systems, so we suggest getting in touch with your installer as they may know more. 

 

 

References

https://www.natureworksllc.com/What-is-Ingeo

https://www.watercare.co.nz/Water-and-wastewater/Wastewater-collection-and-treatment

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anaerobic_digestion