Nappies (Environmental Standards) Bill, which was published on the 18th March 2019. (Credit – The Whitehouse Consultancy)

Launch of the Nappies (Environmental Standards) Bill
The Nappy Alliance, Press Release: 27th March 2019


A Nappy (Environmental Standards) Bill has been launched today by David Linden MP at the Round Chapel in Hackney, London.

The UK throws away nearly three billion nappies a year, 90% of which will go through household waste streams and end up in landfill where they can take up to 500 years to decompose. Even when eventually broken down, disposable nappies generate methane gas adding to global warming and damaging air quality.

MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch, Meg Hillier comments:
As a reusable nappy user, I know how easy it is to go green – but know much more needs to be done to support parents to do this. I have benefitted from reusable nappy schemes and welcome the bill.

The Nappy Bill will establish an industry and government led campaign to promote reusable nappies that meet the environmental standards, legislating to ensure that manufacturers cannot make false eco-friendly claims. Biodegradable disposable nappies are considered to use the same amount of finite raw materials and energy to produce as their non-biodegradable counterparts.

The Bill advocates that parents should be provided with information on the damaging environmental effects of disposable nappies so that they can make informed decisions, as well as being made aware of the financial advantages of reusable nappies for families and local authorities.

The Bill will also incentivise local authorities across the country to roll out reusable nappy voucher schemes, such as the one currently used by the Real Nappies for London scheme, in order to reduce disposable nappy waste and the circulation in the waste stream of single-use plastics.

The Bill is supported by The Nappy Alliance who believe that parents should be given more information about reusable nappies, empowering them to make an informed choice about the products that they choose to use.

Guy Schanschieff, chair of The Nappy Alliance, comments:
“Reusable nappies have increased in popularity in recent years but there is much more that can be done to support and entice new parents, by giving them more product information and ensuring that they are not be mislead by so-called ’eco’ disposable nappies which are not environmentally friendly.”
“By opting to use reusable nappies, parents in the UK alone could help stop eight million disposable nappies being thrown into landfill every day.”

The launch of the Bill coincided with a Hackney Real Nappy networking event attended by councillors, MPs, The Nappy Alliance, reusable nappy industry leaders and parents at The Round Chapel in Hackney, London.

This borough of Hackney in particular has benefited from successful voucher schemes for parents via the Real Nappies for London Scheme which has been implemented by nine London councils including Hackney Borough Council. A report by The Institute of Civil Engineers and The University of Northampton shows that these schemes are delivering significant cost and environment benefits for local government, families and single parents.


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NOTES TO EDITORS:
For further information please contact isabella.sharp@whitehouseconsulting.co.uk /07813 307490

About the Nappy Alliance:

• The Nappy Alliance, founded in 2003, is an organisation established by independent providers of re-usable nappies, promoting the environmental benefits of reusable products and consumer choice for new parents. As well as campaigning for better environmental standards and to promote the use of environmentally friendly nappies to both central and local government.

• The members of the Alliance are: Bambino Mio, Bambooty, Charlie Banana, Close Parent, Little Lamb, The Nappy Lady, Tot Bots and Uber Shop.

• The Nappy Alliance has made significant progress over the past 16 years to create a growing market of sustainable baby, parent and environmentally friendly products, with all major supermarkets as stockists and 30% of parents opting to use them at some stage.

• The Alliance has successfully engaged with national and local influencers, securing reusable nappies as ways to reduce waste in WRAP and Local Government Association guidance (Routes to Reuse 2014), along with securing a revised Life-Cycle Assessment from the Environment Agency (2008) that concluded up to 40% of co2 savings could be realised when washing reusables efficiently.

• The average baby uses 4000 nappies up to potty training (weighing up to 120kg), the majority of which will go to landfill – 8 million of them every day in the UK alone.

• The composition of a disposable nappy means that some elements will take multiple lifetimes to degrade. The plastics used on nappies are Polypropylene (liner to stop wetness) and Polyethlene (prevent leaks), along with elastics, tapes and adhesives to secure the product. Together these make up 30% of the materials used in a nappy. (Environment Agency)