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The parent company of Pampers is Procter & Gamble. They have been one of the largest providers of cost effective baby diapers since 1961.
According to our research, Pampers hasn't executed much in the way of health or eco-friendliness with their diapers. They have a limited disclosure on materials and chemicals with the use phthalates, perfumes, lotion, and dyes. The diapers are tested against the skin of animals to detect possible allergic reaction, and also tested by having an animal ingest ingredients used in the diapers. There are clear signs of greenwashing via the Pampers Pure product being "plant based". When in fact only a few ingredients on the diaper are made from plant based materials. P&G has also stated that they had the goal of sending zero manufacturing waste to landfills by 2020, but there is no report of this coming to fruition. Which leads us to believe their sustainability goals for 2030 will not be met.
But how does this brand stack up based on The Conscious Score? Here is what we found out.
Environmental sustainability is one of the pillars of Procter & Gamble's Citizenship Program. Their Ambition 2030 program highlights some of their key areas and goals. Each year they provide an update on Ambition 2030 progress as part of the Citizenship Report, but do not mention past pledges made or the status of progress. They also provide more information on policies and practices through their ESG portal, where there is detailed information about general effort claims made about key topics such as climate, forestry, packaging and water.
Pampers claims to maintain zero manufacturing waste to landfill at all of its plants and commits to 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
Reducing its impact
Pampers diaper design: Pampers has claimed to have achieved a 40% reduction in diaper materials and packaging over the past two decades.
Sustainable forestry practices: 100% of the virgin wood fiber used in the diapers is third-party certified. >97% of the pulp used in P&G Baby has Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified sourcing and/or chain of custody and their supplier, Lenzing Tencel uses FSC-certified wood pulp.
Manufacturing innovations: Around the world, Pampers claims it is finding innovative ways to ensure that nothing that goes into its factories goes to waste. For example, in the United States, leftover wipes are recycled to make upholstery stuffing.
Procter & Gamble claims to follow the below framework in regards to Human Rights:
• U.N. Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights
• International Bill of Human Rights
• International Labor Organization (ILO) Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work
• Bright Beginnings
• March of Dimes
• Feeding America
• Matthew 25
• Love the Change
Pampers is owned by Procter & Gamble who notoriously tests on animals. According to our research the diapers are tested against the skin of animals to detect a possible allergic reaction, and also tested by having an animal ingest ingredients used in the diapers.
Procter & Gamble has an end-to-end supply chain, which means they can see what is happening from Factory to Shelf in their processes. Having more than 130 manufacturing sites and serving more than 180 countries, they have designed an "end-to-end model" via large-scale applications of advanced analytics and digital technology. This connects the siloed steps from suppliers to retailers. While we are happy that P&G is efficient in their supply chain, we have not found any information that they use this visibility to protect humans, animals or the environment.
Currently packaging has nothing to write home about. Their goal is to have 100% of the packaging recyclable where the local infrastructure exists by 2030. They also aim to reduce their use of virgin petroleum-based plastics in our packaging materials by 50%.
We evaluate performance of the baby diapers based on real parent reviews and 3rd party lab tests. We consider things like absorbency, durability, scent, leak protection and softness.
Pampers Swaddlers scores an average of 4.9 out of 5 in over 57,000 reviews. Based on our research on absorption this diaper leaked in tests, and leaks were also reported from parents as well. For the rewet testing, this diaper transferred quite a bit moisture to the test paper, which means the baby's skin will be wet and can lead to skin irritation or a diaper rash. Based on 3rd party testing and real parent feedback, the diaper performs highly in the durability sector. Most parents like the durable design and have also stated so in their feedback. Pampers Swaddlers uses fragrances, as do most of the Pampers diapers. Most complaints are about the diaper performing poorly overnight, but that daytime performance works well. Parents consistently say that Swaddlers are very soft to the touch.
Pampers Pure Protection averages a score of 4.8 out of 5 from over 2,700 reviews. According to our research, the leak performance and comfort earn it a spot with above-average results in most testing metrics. The Pure is the first "green" diaper from the Pampers brand, stating slightly more eco-friendly practices and healthier components. They do however, mislead the consumer with claims of having a plant based diaper, when in reality it is not fully plant based and they do not disclose all ingredients. This diaper does have an impressive score for leakage, as it absorbs liquid and locks it away relatively quickly, decreasing the chances of rashes, leaks and blowouts. Pampers Pure lands right in the middle for absorbency testing. Reports have been made that Pure diapers seem to be slightly less durable than average, with some of closure tabs tearing off when putting the diaper on the baby. Another common complaint is that the inner lining occasionally sticks to the baby's bottom and may allow moisture to sit closer to the skin, increasing the risk of a rash. The product is fragrance free unlike all the other Pampers diapers. The feedback on softness is above average from parents.
Pampers Cruisers averages a 4.8 out of 5 in over 2,217 reviews. Based on 3rd party testing the diaper absorbed fluid quickly when poured gradually onto a flat diaper and it held liquid well well when testing the fluid at a 45 degree angle, as well as leaking little-to-nothing when pressure was applied on the wet spot. In the 3rd party lab testing, this diaper absorbed liquids fairly well. Although the diaper didn't immediately absorb the liquid, it didn't remain in the top layer long enough to cause discomfort, and the inner liner kept fluids away from the sides and back of the diaper. Liquid does spread nicely through the diaper and up the walls of the inner liner, preventing leakage. These diapers aren’t very stretchy around the waist and legs, so you’ll need to make sure you purchase the right size to avoid leaks. Nighttime is prime leak time, but most parents said they'd feel confident using these diapers on their kids overnight. When they leaked, the testers said it happened when their child was sleeping on their stomach and there was a significant amount of liquid. Pampers Cruisers don't feel quite as soft or as breathable as some other diapers. The durability of the tabs are great and secure and don't seem to get worn out or tear. 3rd party testers also appreciated the thin, non-bulky fit and reported that their kids were able to move around freely and seemed comfortable wearing the diapers. These diapers have fragrance.
Pampers Baby-dry scored an average of 4.8 out of 5 of 7,779 reviews.The perks of this diaper is that the motion points and elastic are smooth with no binding areas or abrasive parts. It also performed well in 3rd party tests and research for durability, with less worry about faulty tabs and SAP leaks than much of the competition. The not so great, is that the Pampers Baby Dry diaper is a somewhat below-average with disappointing performances in most 3rd party diaper tests; with below average absorption and leak protection. The Baby Dry option has a nice price point and a soft feel, but the moisture transfer and lack of absorption is subpar, leaving a significant amount of wetness on the test paper. With the poor absorption of liquid waste, the baby's skin will be continually wet, leading to irritation and possible diaper rash over time. This product is also disappointing for health and eco-friendliness with no clear disclosure of materials or specifics on what the diaper may be free of: perfumes, latex, chlorine, etc. This diaper earned some of the lowest scores for baby health and eco-health.
Pampers Easy Ups reviews average a 4.8 out of 5 in over 6,998 reviews.
According to 3rd party testing it was found that the absorbency of these training pants is low. If your child has frequent accidents and you are able to change them quickly, these may work for you. If you're using these more for the fit and feel without committing 100% to potty training, you may be disappointed in the lack of ability to absorb liquid and prevent leaks. While absorbency may not be the highest priority feature for a potty-trained child, if you are still working with them on the overnights, they aren't much better for that either. The feedback on fragrance is that there is an overwhelming chemical smell. The ingredient list includes a “light fragrance” in the absorbent liner, but no detail on wha the frangrance is. While they do have added fragrances, this diaper is still hypoallergenic. Parents report that the diaper is durable, but there are some cases of ripped sides. There is also a high consensus that the diaper is very soft.
Pampers Splashers have an average 4.8 out of 5 in over 1200 reviews. Splashers have leak-guard barriers to keep the messes trapped inside, but feedback from parents stated that there are chances for leaks and are not as absorbent as a regular diaper - aka swim only. There is stretchy waistband for comfort and easy tear sides for quick changing. Pampers does disclose that there are fragrances in this diaper and parents do not report any issues with durability. Parents also report that they are soft to the touch.