Hands up if you use a lot of kitchen roll? And baby wipes too? They’re so handy of course but most come wrapped in plastic and although kitchen roll can be composted, depending on what you’ve used it for, the most popular and affordable brands of baby wipes are not compostable. And guess where they end up? You’ve guessed it, destination landfill (or blocking up sewers).
Like disposable nappies, this is one area where greener options are urgently needed. Hopefully in the near future, plastic-free, eco-friendly baby wipes become more mainstream and accessible to all.
A greener alternative to wipes
I’m super excited to tell you about Ecoegg re-usable bamboo towels. Available in rolls of 20 sheets. The sheets are large (28cm x 32cm) so you might wish to cut them into halves or quarters which makes them go even further.
Being Mum to a fur-baby (Winston), I mainly use these as reusable baby wipes. Because of a medical condition, Winston, eats raw dog food. This means we have to wipe his meaty ‘tache and beard after each meal. We had been using Naty disposable wipes for some time. Although they are biodegradable, I always felt unhappy about the single-use factor and the plastic dispensing bag.
Now I’ve replaced the Naty wipes with the Ecoegg towels.
How to use them
All you need to do is add a bit of water and the Ecoegg towel quickly takes on the consistency of a conventional single-use baby wipe.
After use I rinse and wring each one out. Then hang it on a little rack over a radiator. I have two boxes in the cupboard – one for clean towels and one for the dry but dirty towels. When the box of dirty towels is nearly full, I soak them in some eco-friendly laundry liquid*, rinse, wring and hang out again. They can also be machine washed at or below 40 degrees.
(*post to follow)
How long do they last?
Apparently each towel can be used around 85 times which gives you 1700 uses per roll. That’s a lot of conventional kitchen roll/baby wipes saved. When they’re falling apart, you can compost them. All of mine are still going strong about five months in.
What about on the go?
If you wanted to use the Ecoegg towels when out and about, you could buy a wet bag to store clean wet towels in to take with you (if you have a non-fur baby or a toddler perhaps). These ones from Babi-pur look lovely.
Other uses for the towels
In terms of general household use, I also use the Ecoegg towels for wiping kitchen surfaces, spills, food prep etc. A few squares of these have replaced my ancient J-cloths for general cleaning and so far, so good. The performance is great and they are easy to care for.
That said, you might wish to keep some single-use kitchen roll in reserve for muckier jobs, especially involving anything greasy e.g. drying extractor fan filters or dealing with yucky stuff. Waitrose ECOlogical recycled kitchen roll is a great option. It’s made from sustainably sourced magazines, packaging and office waste. But if you make a switch to the reuseable Ecoegg towels, I think you’ll find you reach for the single-use stuff a lot less.
Room for improvement on packaging
Disappointingly, Ecoegg packages each roll in an outer plastic film. This is strange for a product that is otherwise sustainable. I am going to write to Ecoegg to ask if they have plans to change that. I’ll let you know what they say in response.
So there you have it, sustainable, reusable towels for a whole load of uses. Why not give them a go and let me know how you get on in the comments below?
Ecoegg reusable bamboo towels: £7.99 per roll, Babipur Planet Wise Small Wet Bag (various designs) £9.95, Waitrose ECOlogical kitchen roll from £1.60.