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Thread: Abena have changed Plastic Top-sheet thickness/type!?

  1. #1

    Default Abena have changed Plastic Top-sheet thickness/type!?

    I really am surprised no one has posted about this. I've been waiting for a week now, ever since I tried a recently ordered case of Abena Abri-form M4s that my friend had bought, for this to be mentioned.

    Let me give you a little background about me. I've been wearing Abris for probably well over seven years. They are by far my favourite diaper, they tick most of the boxes. One of them being the plastic thickness and feel. So you can imagine that it came as quite a shock to discover last weekend that a recent shipment my friend has received had Abris in it with a seriously thinner plastic top-sheet.

    Abena have most definitely changed the plastic from what it used to be, it's now probably between 2/3s and 1/2 as thick as it used to be. It's closer in thickness to what Bambino Bellisimo use, rather than what Abriform used to be. The overall general diaper thickness is near enough the same, and the tapes are just as good as far as I can see this is the only change they've made.

    However, I think it's both cheeky and a smart move on their part at the same time. Let me explain why:

    Abena were planning to turn their whole production line into Air Premium or something to that effect I believe? I think their idea was to, by adding a much much cheaper non-woven layer of cloth over the plastic, reduce the grade of the plastic (thereby making it much cheaper to produce - due to plastic being made out of oil that's constantly rising in price). Most people assume the cloth idea is a comfort thing, but I think it's a cost cutting measure, as well as being a discretionary measure.

    So when there was a backlash from our community over their sudden move to make all abri-forms cloth covered, they kept their cost cutting measure (by removing a percentage of the plastic's thickness), and removed the discretionary and strengthening measure by not adding the cloth. Rather suspect and rather cheeky if you ask me.

    Not sure if I'm happy that they've kept the plastic backed diapers, or unhappy that they've swindled me a little. Has anyone else experienced this at all?

    What do you all think?

    PS: Btw, I'm in the UK and I highly doubt that this has permeated across Abena's whole distribution network yet, I just figured you'd be best off being warned! Also would be nice for a couple of other people who've had the same experience to confirm for me .
    Last edited by Luca; 24-Jan-2012 at 17:06.

  2. #2


    People everywhere are doing techniques similar to Abena. It can be viewed two fold. 1: The reduction of plastic is Eco-friendly as less material is being used during the production. 2: It saves the company money as less material is being used during the production, lol.

    Yah, they're a little different, but they're still a great diaper. Just be careful about zipping up your fly and don't put cats with claws on your lap unless you have thick pants. Holes are usually a good time, but not when it comes to diapers...IE, leaks...

  3. #3


    Have not noticed this with my latest package of M4s, but I'll keep it in mind.

  4. #4

  5. #5


    Finally someone else realized it! With the pack of M3's I have, the plastic is so thin that I wet it once and it ripped up the middle when I sat down. RIPPED! The sap fellout and it was a big mess.. ;[ I think they're skimping out!! probably in an effort to convert people over to the new Air design.

  6. #6


    I can confirm this to be true, unfortunately...

    But it's not only the backing that has suffered, the padding has as well!

    Now, there are several possibilities as to why this was done, and I will go over them all in depth. Just so everyone knows, I will use "PE" to refer to the plastic versions and "TBS" to refer to the cloth version.

    First. The obvious...
    Abena is hell bent on discontinuing PE everywhere. Making the PE's cheaper and crappier may cause more people to switch to the TBS version(or so they think!) The US has proven to be the most stubborn opposition to this move so far, and has costed Abena another 6 agonizing months of plastic production already. However, now they may feel there is no need to put the effort into putting the same quality into our beloved PE version, because it is a dying breed anyway, and they might as well milk it for all it's worth.

    Now the not so obvious.

    Second... Pinholes!
    This is a problem that has plagued the size 4's especially. "Pinholes" are formed when sodium ployacrylate crystals end up between the wood pulp padding and the plastic backing. When the diapers are super compressed to be bagged, the sharp crystals punch through the backing, forming a small hole.

    This was actually such a big problem, that in mid 2010, that several customers were returning their Abri-Forms to XP Medical, and likely elsewhere. Gary even had a special sale on the "holie" briefs at a huge discount. Although Abena claimed they "fixed" that issue, the truth is, it just wasn't quite so bad. The pinholes still existed.

    These "Rev. 2" M4's that i have, do not have any pinholes at all.

    Third.... Bad batch?
    Maybe Abena is just having bad luck with their suppliers and the plastic they are getting right now just plain old sucks! I mean, they are still usable. They aren't too bad, really. They just aren't quite as good as we are used to.

    Fourth.... Dioxins, toxins on Steroids!
    Dioxins are highly toxic chemicals produced from some type of plastic manufacturing. These chemicals seem to perpetually exist in the food chain, residing in fat cells of animals and humans. They can cause all sorts of nasty things to happen if you are exposed to them in a high enough volume. Unfortunately for us, diapers contain dioxins due to the bleaching process. That's the trade-off for having a pretty white diaper, apparently.

    Maybe Abena really does care about the planet... Maybe this new plastic creates less Dioxins in production, and therefore is better for us, the wearers also... You never know. Abena is very into the environmental side of things. Like, almost in a creepy way. They are willing to allow their customers to suffer while protecting mother earth. I guess i can see where they are going with it, but it doesn't mean I like it! I would take an off-colored PE Abri-Form before the TBS any day. I don't tend to judge by color

    Fifth.... Money is an option?
    According to Dry24/7, there is/was an international shortage of raw materials. Maybe Abena had enough materials to not be affected until now. Maybe they were counting on stopping PE because of a shortage, and now that it isn't happening, they're struggling to maintain production.

    Reducing the materials in one diaper even by 5% or so would allow them to make many more. Sure, they aren't top notch, but they're better than no PE at all!

    Sixth.... New machines?
    Abena invested heavily into making upgrades to their diaper machines not long ago.

    If you examine the "Rev. 2" M4's, you can see faint dimples on the backing... Those were never there before...
    If you look on the back, the manufacturing code, it is now printed in black ink. On the older M4's, it was printing in blue "wetness indicator" ink, and always got all faded and yucky. Also may explain the difference in padding thickness. So, new machines may be a possibility.

    So, those are the reasons I, personally, can think of. Some are more plausible than others, but all are within the realm of possibility. I honestly don't know what the exact reasons are, but I'm going to try to find out!

  7. #7


    Thanks for reporting this. I've switched to Dry 24/7 now, but would have liked to have had Abena available to me, too. Maybe XP has one move case of the old ones left. I'll call tomorrow.

  8. #8


    Maybe that guy OneTime (The one who commented from Abena div in the other post) will have some answers?

  9. #9


    I already sent Gary an e-mail asking what the dealio is.

    We'll see what he says.

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by AbenaLeaf View Post

    Fourth.... Dioxins, toxins on Steroids!

    They use Phthalate Phthalate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia as softeners. Nood a godd idea to have them near your gonades.

    It has effect on humans and wildlife:

    e.hormone | Wildlife Effects

    and on youtube (German/English mix)

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