Are reusable liners really worth the outlay?
Our answer is a definitive yes!
We did a quick cost analysis of reusable versus disposable nappy liners and the results were as follows:
Reusable liners – we’ve used our Luxury Liners as an example – cost $14.95 for a pack of 10. Let’s say you start with 20: your outlay is $29.90.
Disposable liners cost on average $12.30 per 100.*
If you use a fresh liner for every nappy change birth to potty, that’s an outlay of $738. Crazy, right?
Most people don’t use a liner for every one of those 6000 changes. But what about every other change? That’s still $369.
Or even if you use a liner a quarter of the time – there goes $184.50.
Ok, ok, so you might only use one a day – that nappy change when you just know they’re going to poop. Folks, over 2.5 years, that’s still 912 liners… or $110.70.
And of course, these financial figures don’t take into account the environmental strain: the energy and resources to produce something that will only be used once or twice, plastic that’s used to wrap the liner rolls so they don’t get dirty or damaged in transit, the postage (cost, packaging and transit miles) to get them to you if you don’t live near a supplier, and the issues that can arise if the liners are flushed.
Then there’s the self-sufficiency bit. One of the key benefits of choosing reusable nappies is that once you have your stash, you’re all set. No more reliance on the supermarket for a family staple. And it’s the same with liners. Once you have your 20-odd reusable liners, you never need think about them again.
Don’t get me wrong: I do feel there may be a place single-use liners for some families. Some parents I’ve spoken to have told me that it’s the one thing that got them over the line when they first started out. After a few weeks of using disposable liners though, they felt confident to make the switch to reusables. They also realised that single-use liners were not going to be a viable option economically so they had to make the switch sooner rather than later.
If this is you: please know this blog post is not a judgement of your choice. Good on you for choosing cloth nappies and if the disposable liners are the only thing that makes it doable for you: keep at it! We wholeheartedly support your choice to do what is best for your family and support your continued use of reusables.
But I challenge you to start thinking outside the square (or rectangle, as it were!), and start to consider that switching mightn’t be as hard as you first thought. In fact, you may just find it easier. Maybe it will take the pressure of your cloth journey if you can grab your 20 liners and be done with it forever?
After all, why purchase 6000 a thing and throw them all away, when you can purchase 20 for keeps?
*Late 2018 prices across 6 brands of single-use liners