We've gotten some questions about our diapers using ECF fluff pulp versus TCF fluff pulp... we are all about transparency so, here's the scoop.
What is the difference between ECF and TCF?
For anyone who isn't familiar, ECF (elemental chlorine free) means the wood pulp in the core of the diaper is bleached with chlorine dioxide instead of elemental chlorine. TCF (total chlorine free), on the other hand, means this wood pulp has been bleached without chlorine. Over 96% of the world wide bleached pulp is produced using ECF bleaching due to lower costs, higher pulp quality, lower complexity of technology, and higher reliability. To clarify, chlorine is not added to diapers. It’s used in the process of making the fluff pulp.
What went into our decision?
When we started EveryLife and began discussions with the manufacturers, the decision to move forward with using ECF over TCF was not easy. Most of us at EveryLife are parents too and our mission when starting this brand was to create premium products we would use on our own little ones at an affordable price that protect and celebrate every life. That said, we all care deeply about what ingredients are used and the safety of babies – so we did the research. And here’s how we landed on our decision.
#1 - TCF vs ECF is an environmental issue not a safety issue
The use of chlorine processing is actually only relevant from an environmental perspective. Despite initial concerns in the 1990s, it is now generally recognized that the discharges to the atmosphere and energy use are not significant environmental issues for either ECF or TCF process. Additionally, while the TCF process results in a somewhat cleaner waste product, it also produces a significantly lower yield, which basically cancels out the environmental benefits over ECF.
#2 - Both TCF and ECF have been proven safe in diapers
But what about the dioxins? Again, the original concerns back in the 1990s had to do with the by-product of the manufacturing (dioxins) landing in waterways – something modern technology has rectified. The level of dioxins that could potentially be present in ECF diapers is comparable to that found in cloth cotton diapers — and up to 2.2 million times lower than what you’re exposed to by simply eating food.
#3 - Price and supply chain protection
There are only two suppliers of TCF pulp in the world, both of which are in Northern Europe. There was significant concern regarding supply chain stability as well as the environmental impact of importing the material. EveryLife’s ECF pulp, on the other hand, is sourced in America. This enabled us to protect our supply chain, make our products more affordable for you - and reduce our environmental impact.