Resource Use

‘Choose to Reuse’ focus for annual Reusable Nappy Week

Today (19 April) marks the start of Reusable Nappy Week, which will focus on encouraging parents and caregivers to make the switch from disposable to reusable nappies.

reusable nappiesNow in its 25th year, Reusable Nappy Week is organised by Real Nappies for London and is supported by NGOs and local councils across London.

This year’s event will be held online and plans to focus on highlighting the environmental benefits of reusable nappies, using the theme ‘Choose to Reuse’.

Each year, nearly 3 billion single-use nappies end up in landfill or incineration across the UK.

As part of this year’s message, Real Nappies for London is encouraging parents to commit to swapping out single-use nappies for reusable ones for one day a week, a change that would reduce single-use plastic waste by the equivalent of 17 plastic bags.

Alice Walker, Project Manager at Real Nappies for London, commented: “Reusable Nappy Week is about drawing on our community to show parents that ditching disposable nappies for reusable cloth nappies doesn’t have to be complicated or labour-intensive, and that just a small action, such as switching for one day a week, can have a meaningful impact on the environment.

“The week offers information and support through participation in engaging activities, as well as the opportunity to play a part in a societal shift to a circular waste system that prioritises reuse.”

Among the supporters of this year’s event are North London Waste Authority (NWLA), which arranges the membership of a nappy subsidy scheme in its constituent boroughs.

The scheme offers parents with a baby under 18 months and parents-to-be living in eight London Boroughs (Bexley, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington, Lambeth and Waltham Forest) a reusable nappy voucher worth up to £54.15 redeemable for a pack of reusable nappies or for a trial washable nappy laundry service.

NLWA Managing Director Martin Capstick said: “Last year, the uptake of the reusable nappy scheme subsidy more than doubled in north London compared to the previous year: it rose from 699 participants to 1,723. We estimate that this prevented 823 tonnes of nappies from going to disposal.

“Disposable nappies are a particularly problematic type of waste – both in terms of the energy and resources that go into making them, but also in terms of disposal.”

Through the subsidy scheme, we hope to give parents the chance to give reusable nappies a try – if everyone uses them even occasionally, collectively we can make a big difference.”