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FAQs

 

How are Bambo Nature nappies different?

As much as 85% of the environmental impact from a disposable nappy is related to its raw material, factors that exist before they reach the nappy manufacturer.

The Nordic Swan Eco Label assesses a product’s environmental impact during its entire life cycle, from raw materials and manufacturing, through to the nappy’s use and finally the disposal.

In order to reach the standards that have won the Nordic Swan, the manufacturers of Bambo Nature have been tested on its:

  • energy and resource consumption
  • factory emissions into air, water and land
  • limits on the creation of waste products
  • the content of environmentally hazardous substances in the product
  • anything that may be hazardous to humans
 

 

Cradle to Grave Impact

Bambo Nature eco nappies are manufactured in a production facility where 95% of the production waste is recycled, making Bambo Nature one of the most eco-friendly nappies on the market. Bambo Nature is proud to hold the Nordic Swan Eco Label and the FSC label (the mark of responsible forestry) and is also dermatologically tested.

Many consumers make the mistake of thinking that the biodegradability of a product is the most important factor in making a product environmentally friendly. While this is important, the reality is that the vast majority of nappies end up in landfill. Landfill is anaerobic (meaning that there is no light or air, necessary for the decomposition process), so the nappies are going to break down very slowly. Indeed, archaeologists in London found a banana skin in a rubbish dump dated to 1460! Any nappy that claims to be biodegradable only biodegrades if it is composted, not if it is thrown into landfill. As with any claims to 'green' credentials, you should ensure that the manufacturers can actually prove that the nappy is biodegradable. Ask the manufacturer to show you the results of product tests carried out by independent bodies. The Nordic Swan Eco Label is an independent body that can show the results of tests carried out by independent laboratories. There are many factors that affect the environmental impact of a product, and biodegradability is just one of them. When you are trying to reduce your eco footprint, it is important to look at the entire life cycle of the product you choose, rather than a single factor.

Click here to see the manufacturer's health certificate.

Disposal

Bambo Nature nappies are recyclable by a specialist nappy recycler, such as My Planet in Melbourne (who services are, unfortunately, currently suspended) or at specialist plants such as the Global Renewables recycling plant in Eastern Creek, NSW, where the innovative UR-3R Process (Urban Resource – Reduction, Recovery and Recycling) is used. Please go to our links page to see more on both of these companies. You can also incinerate Bambo Nature nappies, as there are no environmentally harmful ingredients in the nappies to be released into the atmosphere. Indeed there is a specialist nappy incinerator in The Netherlands, where the energy is then fed back into the grid.

Packaging

All Bambo Nature packaging is fully recyclable in your council recycling bin.

Gels (SAPs)

Bambo Nature nappies contain a small amount of two kinds of SAPs, one of which is a starch based bio-superabsorbent which is 100% biodegradable. The second is a high quality, permeable superabsorbent made of acrylic polymer. The manufacturer, Abena, is currently working with suppliers to use only a starch based bio-superabsorbent, while still maintaining their excellent quality standards.

SAPs are necessary to ensure that nappies are absorbent, without being bulky. A nappy that did not contain SAPs would be bulky, meaning more landfill, and would not have the same ability to keep baby dry. You would need to use more nappies, and in turn, create more waste.

SAPs are approved by the FDA.

As with all products, as the technology improves, manufacturers are able to use more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Nappy rash

Unlike standard disposable nappies, Bambo Nature contain no perfumes, lotions, deodorants or antioxidants, and they are 100% chlorine free and latex free, so they are much less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

The Eczema Association of Australia has featured Bambo Nature nappies in their newsletter, and recommends them to parents of babies with eczema.

Parents should always change a dirty nappy as soon as possible, and it’s a good idea to let baby have some ‘nappy free’ time every day.

How many nappies will you need?

Paediatricians recommend that newborn babies are changed 10-12 times per day (i.e. every 2-3 hours). As your baby gets older, they'll only need to be changed 6-8 times a day. Always make sure that you change your baby immediately when they have a dirty nappy.

Nordic Swan Eco Label

The Nordic Swan Label is the official eco-labelling system of the Nordic countries. Its aim is to provide information to consumers to enable them to select products that are the least harmful to the environment. It focuses on product areas where eco-labelling is seen to be both a necessity and a benefit.

The criteria are based on evaluation of the environmental impacts during the life cycle of the products. There are specific requirements aimed at reducing factors considered environmentally harmful. Criteria are updated every three years to take account of new knowledge and production methods.

 

Commonly-asked questions about the Nordic Ecolabel

1. How did it originate?

The Nordic Ecolabel was established in 1989 by the Nordic Council of Ministers, and is locally implemented by the governments of Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Denmark and Finland. It is the official ecolabel in the Nordic countries. Today it is the world’s leading ecolabel with over 1000 licenses just in Sweden alone, for a total of 66 product areas.

In Sweden the company SIS Ecolabelling has responsibility for criteria development, control visits, licensing and marketing. It controls the products and services as an independent third-party control organ. It is owned by the Swedish Standards Council and the Swedish government.

2. What is the purpose of the Nordic Ecolabel?

Unfortunately we do not live in a sustainable society. We consume too many things, we do not recycle, and we do not use enough renewable energy. Our vision is a sustainable society where future generations will have the same opportunities as we have today. To achieve this goal, our mission is to encourage sustainable consumerism. The Nordic Ecolabel, commonly known in the Nordic countries as “the Swan” because of its symbol, is a practical tool to help companies make products that are more sustainable. Therefore it is important that more people buy Nordic Ecolabelled products and companies sell more Nordic Ecolabelled products and services.

3. How is it financed?

SIS Ecolabelling receives funding from the government and through its licensing fees from companies, normally 0.3% of the annual turnover from the Nordic Ecolabelled product or service. Its financial resources are used for the development of new criteria, control of products and services and marketing. SIS Ecolabelling is a non-profit company and has no branch affiliations.

4. Who controls the Nordic Ecolabel?

The Nordic Ecolabel is controlled in Sweden by the Swedish Ecolabelling Board consisting of members from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Grocers Federation, the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, the Swedish Chemicals Agency, Friends of the Earth, The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, The Energy Agency and the Swedish Consumers´ Association.

The Swedish Ecolabelling Board also has responsibility for the EU Flower and products that apply for the EU Flower ecolabel. The Board further reports to the Swedish government on EU Flower criteria, who in turn decide on Sweden’s official position in EU Flower matters.

The Nordic Ecolabelling Board consists of members from each national Ecolabelling Board, who decide on Nordic criteria requirements for products and services. When a product is granted a Nordic Ecolabel in one Nordic country, the company can then apply, for a Nordic Ecolabel in the other Nordic countries.

5. How well-known is the Nordic Ecolabel?

It is one of the most well-known with 97% of Swedes both recognising it and understanding what it stands for, and it is becoming increasingly well known worldwide.

6. What sort of products can be Nordic Ecolabelled?

Today there are 66 product and service criteria. Thousands of products and services, from detergents to car tyres to hotels and restaurants can apply for the Nordic Ecolabel.

7. How are product criteria areas chosen?

The Swan Label chooses to work in the areas where they believe they can make a difference, in other words, choosing areas where they can achieve the highest environmental impact gains. The Swan Label chooses product areas from three perspectives.

Relevance - is this an area with huge environmental problems? If it is, the Nordic Ecolabel looks closer and investigates. Potential for environmental improvements - if criteria are created for this group, will it make an environmental difference and impact? Whether these products are used by many people is also taken into consideration.

And lastly, can the Nordic Ecolabel steer the production of this product or the establishment of this service (e.g. for hotels, restaurants, car washes) so that labelling this product will achieve a better environmental production or establishment process?

A total lifecycle span analysis is used for all products and services. Criteria are decided upon in an open process with experts from the business world, environmental organisations and authorities. Before the criteria are accepted by the Nordic Ecolabelling Board they are publicised for review and comments. The Nordic Ecolabelling Board makes the final decision on which Nordic criteria will be implemented in the Nordic countries.

8. What kind of analysis is made?

We have criteria for the use of chemicals, the amounts of discharge to the air, water and ground that the product produces, as well as energy usage and waste procedures. We also investigate quality and functionality aspects of the product.

9. Does the same criteria always apply?

No, criteria are revised for the different product groups on an average of every 3-4 years. Products must fulfil the new criteria and companies must re-apply for a license.

10. How does a product or service get Ecolabelled?

In order to receive a Nordic Ecolabel license the product or service must meet criteria requirements from one of the 66 product criteria areas, and for the specific product group. A company can apply for a license and the application fee is 18 000 SEK. Applications can be found at www.svanen.nu.

Each company must provide, among other things, independent testing results and documentation for the specific product. A control visit will also be made. If approved, the product or service may carry the Nordic Ecolabel.

11. Are Nordic Ecolabelled products more expensive?

At the start of an environmental production process costs may be higher than for equivalent production processes. The more Nordic Ecolabelled products that are soldon the market, the cheaper they will become. In some cases a Nordic Ecolabelled product can even be less expensive. Because of the criteria requirements, costs can be reduced for raw materials, energy and waste production. A reduction in negative environmental impacts makes Nordic Ecolabelled products, from a societal perspective, cheaper than equivalent, non-Ecolabelled products.

12. Do these products have the same quality as non-Ecolabelled?

Yes, Nordic Ecolabelled products must be as good as equivalent products that do not carry the Nordic Ecolabel. Products must meet certain quality and functionality requirements. A detergent for example, must wash clothes clean at low temperatures, furniture must pass durability tests and toner cassettes must print at the highest quality.

13. What is the difference between the Nordic Ecolabel and the EUFlower?

The Nordic Ecolabel is the official ecolabel for the Nordic countries and the EU Flower is its EU equivalent. Both systems work in similar ways with a lifecycle span analysis and criteria that are continually reviewed. They are often synchronized. The Nordic Ecolabel has 66 product areas and the EU Flower 25 areas.

14. Why are there so many ecolabelling systems?

The Nordic Ecolabel is the only official Nordic Ecolabel. There are other sustainable development marking systems that also are controlled by independent bodies. These are KRAV, the EU Flower, the Falk (The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation) and Fair Trade. Together we make a strong force for encouraging society to be more sustainable. In Germany there is the Blue Angel and in Japan the Ecomark.

16. How many people work at Nordic Ecolabelling companies?

The Nordic Ecolabel is the leading ecolabelling company in the world. The five Nordic ecolabelling organisations have around 80 employees. In Sweden there are 38 employees.


 

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