Saturday, 30 January 2010

Comparing nappy disposal systems - a review: Korbell vs Tommee Tippee

Last year I was dragged along to the Baby Show, where I was introduced to the Korbell nappy disposal system, which was supposedly better and more eco-friendly than nappy wrappers. I was given a quick demo and told about the huge Baby Show discount - and was sold on the spot.

Why? Well, we'd been using Tommee Tippee's Hygiene Plus nappy wrapper for well over a year, and though it worked well, I was on the lookout for a system that was less of a hassle to empty, and easier to put nappies in.

Now, putting nappies in a nappy wrapper generally involves pushing the nappy down into the wrapper, and then turning a wheel to wrap it. Emptying it requires cutting the wrapping film and tipping the contents of the bucket into your outside bin. Not much of a hassle really, but then I'm a lazy dad.

We've been using the Korbell system for a good few months now. How does it stack up? Well...

Advantages:

  • Very easy to put nappies in - you just drop them in through a flap (which moves out of the way itself under the weight of the nappy) and that's it.
  • Very easy to empty - the film cassette produces ready-made waste bags, so when it's full you just pull out the bag, cut it (with the in-built cutter, which is sharp & quick) and tie it, and it's just like a bin bag ready to be thrown out. You no longer need to bring the bucket outside or bring another bag to empty the bucket into.
  • Economical. Cassettes last a long time.

Disadvantages:

  • It smells. Unlike a nappy wrapper which wraps each individual nappy in film, with the Korbell system it all goes into one bag, with the bin flap the only thing to keep the smell in. You'll notice once you've got a few poo nappies in there, the next time you drop a nappy in, the flap opens for a split-second which is long enough to let a bit of the poo smell out. What's worse is that when it gets closer to full, the flap may stay open after you drop a nappy in, requiring you to push the nappy down past the flap, which may then snag your hand when it shuts (which is pretty annoying when you've a nose full of poo smell thanks to the flap staying open).
  • Easier to get mess on. When you've got a particularly dirty nappy, there's a good chance you'll get poo on the flap and have to clean it off. With a nappy wrapper, the design generally ensures that all the poo stays on the wrapping film (which covers the bin's entry point) rather than getting on the bin itself.
  • Requires more frequent emptying. Wrappers generally squeeze the nappy a bit, meaning less air goes in and the space inside the nappy bucket is more efficiently used. As there's no wrapping here, more air stays in the bag and you'll find yourself making trips to the outside bin more often. At least it's easier to empty though.

In conclusion, both have their advantages and disadvantages, and you can't have it all. Or can you? We started to put all poo nappies into the Tommee Tippee nappy wrapper, and the wee ones in the Korbell bin. Result - now I empty them less often!