Last month (19 Jan) I attended a waste event where I was briefed on the new EU Circular Economy Strategy. It’s very exciting.
Economic instruments were cited as effective tools to bring about the major change that’s needed to make the EU more sustainable. Landfill tax, introduced in the UK in 1996, was talked about as a successful way to motivate councils to increase recycling, introduce food waste collections and promote waste prevention, to reduce the huge volume of waste sent to landfill every day. The big idea is more, similar, financial instruments.
However, unfortunately the landfill tax has not been so successful in reducing nappy waste. A report on Channel 4 News on poverty in December 2015 had an interview with a Stoke primary school teacher who said that 35% of the children who had started the reception year that September had arrived for school wearing nappies.
What this means is that despite landfill tax nappy waste has not reduced nationally, it has gone up. It’s possible it may even have doubled.
The question is, what happens next? What can be done to reduce nappy waste? I suggest better information is needed to help parents understand how to potty train their children. We have some good information here.