Spending money on reducing nappy waste is investment in the future. Local authorities understand that the days of use and throw are numbered. We can’t carry on using up resources in the way we do now. Single-use nappies are sold to the public as the convenient option. Actually, what’s more convenient is always having nappies on hand and simply putting them in the washing machine when you have a full load.
Nappy recycling sounds like the solution to nappy waste. However it still means 4-7k nappies manufactured, packaged, distributed, picked up from the supermarket or delivered to the home – per baby! Then the nappy waste has to be collected and treated at the recycling plant with a resource intensive process. The materials from that process have little or no value.
Too many people say it’s too slow and difficult to change behaviour. But this behaviour was learned. Just 30 years ago washable nappies were the norm and most toddlers were out of nappies by two years old. Parents can and will switch back to using washable nappies if they seem like the norm.
To those who can’t imagine London without nappy waste I ask, 20 years ago would you have imagined the Oyster card making using public transport easier? Would you have imagined using the internet on a smart phone? Would you have imagined dangerous and dirty canal paths becoming safe and beautiful walkways? Would you have imagined hoards of cyclists on London’s roads, including many on hire bikes?
More and more parents are using real nappies, reducing disposable nappy waste and sharing their experience with others. We all have to work together to make it happen.