Now You Can Compost Your Baby's Diapers Using a Subscription Service

This is an easy way to keep disposable diapers out of landfills.

Mar 28, 2020

Today, environmentally conscious parents can feed their babies organic baby food and use recyclable non-BPA plastics. They can buy 100 percent fair trade cotton clothing and hand-crafted toys. These are easy choices.

But many parents still face the diaper dilemma. Baby's go through a lot of diapers and that means either using cloth which is labor intensive for a new mom or dad or going the disposable route. While this is more convenient, 20 billion diapers (even the greener brands) are tossed into landfills in the US every year according to the EPA and they can take 500 years to decompose. One company came up with a better option.

Parents can now ship their baby's dirty diapers  to be composted through a diaper subscription company called Dyper. The company that makes sustainable bamboo diapers has operated a subscription service since 2018 according to Fast Company

The diapers are free of chlorine, latex, alcohol, perfumes, PVC, lotions, the chemicals tributyltin, or phthalates, and ink. While the diapers have always been compostable, city dwellers have had no way to do so until now.

“We talked to many moms that wish that they had that opportunity to compost, because they’re living in New York City in an apartment on the 24th floor and they have no option to do that,” but Taylor Shearer, content manager at Dyper told Fast Company.

Dyper just teamed up with TerraCycle to launch its ReDyper program where subscribers can send back the soiled diapers in special bags and boxes that meet the UN's HazMat shipping standards. When the box is full, parents only have to print out a prepaid shipping label and ship them. TerraCycle will compost the diapers to be used in places like the green areas of highway medians.

“It’s got to be super convenient. It’s got to be, frankly, as close to convenient as possible relative to throwing it out,” said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. The company has run a small recycling center in Amsterdam for Pampers but nothing on this large a scale or with compostable diapers before.

There is an additional charge for the ReDyper system over the cost of the regular Dyper subscription. While these diapers cost more than picking up disposables at a local store, the value of these diapers are that they are eco-friendly.

“The value isn’t just calculated on the specific cost. We are not the least expensive and we’re not the most expensive, but we feel when we take this whole approach of using safe ingredients such as bamboo and nontoxic chemicals, and we don’t print on our diapers and our boxes, and offsetting, and trying to compost and getting people to compost, we feel the value is very real,” Bruce Miller, president of Dyper.

The company pledges to keep reinventing their products and improving their supply chain to become as  environmentally friendly as possible. Now we can protect our babies from chemicals and protect our planet too.

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Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.