This year, the Plastic Free Foundation has given people across the world their 31 Days of Plastic Free Choices, a calendar which shares great advice and ideas on how to reduce waste, and last Sunday (17th June) was the day for reusable nappies on the Plastic Free July calendar. We are always here for advice on how reusable nappies can really benefit families, creating both financial and environmental savings.
We have spoken before of the immense amount of plastic that one individual baby can save. As the average disposable nappy is 61% plastic, weighing 9.55g, it is a primary source of plastic waste for families. A baby can go through 4,000 – 6,000 nappy changes over 2.5 years, creating up to 57.3kg of plastic waste over that time, if they just use disposable nappies.
If you are a parent, one of our biggest aims is to help you become more informed, so you can take more active control of your family’s waste if you have a baby in nappies. Even if you start out small, you will contribute to an enormous saving of plastic. If you live in a London borough that participates in our Real Nappies for London incentive scheme, you can buy anywhere from 3-12 reusable nappies with your voucher, depending on the type of nappy you buy and your voucher value. Here’s how much plastic you could save:
While saving plastic, you don’t sacrifice other resources such as water and energy. A recent survey by the Nappy Alliance shows that you can save more money while washing reusable nappies three times a week, rather than buying a week’s worth of disposable ones.
You can then save even more plastic waste and money by passing reusable nappies on to subsequent children, as well as to friends and family members. Reusable nappies can be sold on as second-hand nappies thanks to their durable materials, and at the end of their lifespan they can be taken to a fabric recycling bank.
Even if you use reusable nappies part-time, this small change can make a massive difference. Do check if you live in a voucher-participating borough and you can apply for your free reusable nappy voucher online. If your council does not provide an incentive scheme, let them know that local families need one! We’ve provided a handy factsheet to help you contact your local MP and let them know the benefits of a reusable nappy voucher scheme.