There are a number of technical terms used to describe baby wipes, their composition, and how they break down after use. To help explain them more easily, we’ve prepared the following guide.
Skin-loving natural fibres
When we refer to the skin-loving natural fibres in Huggies® Baby Wipes, we mean cellulose fibres from wood pulp, which gently absorb and remove mess and irritants from baby’s delicate skin.
Pulp is cellulose fibres, usually from wood. This is the same as what goes into tissue paper. All the wood pulp we use comes from sustainably managed sources.
Cellulose is the main substance found in the walls of plant cells. It keeps the plants upright and strong.
Rayon is a man-made fibre made from regenerated plant cellulose.
Spunlace is a method of bonding fibres in the manufacture of some wipes. High-pressure water jets are used to blast a web of fibres on a moving conveyor belt, which entangles them to create a non-woven fabric. Most baby wipes made in this way contain a majority of plastic fibres, such as polypropylene or polyester (PET).
Coform refers to the way Huggies® Baby Wipes are made with 65% natural fibres (ie: wood pulp) and 35% plastic. Or in the case of Huggies® Extra Care Baby Wipes, 67% natural fibres and 33% plastic. The natural fibres give our wipes their softness and the man-made fibres add strength. Huggies® are the only baby wipes made this way and we’re working hard to make them plastic free by 2025 (or sooner if we can).
Biodegradation or Biodegradable
The term biodegradation refers to the chemical degradation of material by naturally occurring microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and algae. What’s left behind is water, carbon dioxide and/or methane, organic matter (biomass) and inert or safe inorganic compounds. When claiming a product is biodegradable, it’s important to define the environment and timeframe in which this will occur.
Composting is a waste treatment process used to accelerate the action of the micro-organisms that cause biodegradation. Not all products labelled “compostable” can be composted at home with the temperature, bacteria and fungi that naturally exist in home or garden compost. Many “compostable” products can only compost under industrial conditions with carefully managed temperature, humidity and microorganisms.
What makes wet wipes ‘wet’ is a solution of water plus some other ingredients. For example, Huggies® Pure Baby Wipes contain 99% pure water. Its formulation refers to the different ingredients in the solution. These will include ingredients that prolong shelf life and provide efficient cleaning and skin protection, as well as other skincare ingredients (e.g. aloe, vitamin E etc).
Materials or products which can be collected and processed that would otherwise be thrown away as waste and turning them into new products. Giving materials a second life.
Post-industrial Recycled (PIR) Content or Pre-Consumer Recycle Content
A product composition that contains some percentage of manufacturing waste material that has been reclaimed from a process generating the same or a similar product.
Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Content
Once a material or finished product has served its intended use and has been diverted or recovered from waste destined for disposal, it is then considered "post-consumer." Having completed its life as a consumer item, it can then be recycled as such.