What nappy schemes are in my area?
How reusable nappy schemes work:
Reusable nappy schemes involve reusable nappy providers working in partnership with local authorities to offer parents of children up to 18 months reusable nappy vouchers. The local authority and the waste authority pay an upfront cost for each voucher which varies from between £40 in some boroughs and £54 in other boroughs.
Benefits to local authorities
Local authorities quickly make financial savings based on reduced landfill tax and disposal costs. A report produced by the Institute of Civil Engineers showed that between July 2012 and July 2016, 3,188 vouchers were redeemed by parents across nine London councils. According to the study this delivered savings of £320,791. Hackney Council in London say that their reusable nappy scheme helped to cut costs by £10,360 in 2018/19 by avoiding gate fees for residual waste.
The local authorities that have used the scheme have reported on greater community cohesion and an increased awareness amongst residents of the need for behavioural changes that supports the environment.
Benefits for parents and babies:
Because reusable nappies can be used again and again, they help parents save considerable amounts of money. The Real Nappies for London study shows that, for the first 130 weeks of a child’s life, parents save between £308 and £488 by using reusable nappies rather than standard disposable nappies. There are several websites that specialise in selling second-hand real nappies making these products extremely affordable.
In Hackney, for instance, reusable nappies have helped families to collectively save almost £1.5m and helped to avoid 1,300 tonnes of disposable nappies waste in the borough.
Having a baby is a significant moment in anyone’s life and a key time to make new lifestyle choices. Engaging with parents and carers who are about to have a child provides an excellent opportunity to encourage behavioural change and instill good environmental practice. Making use of reusable nappies and cutting the use of disposable nappies shows children from a young age the need to limit the use of single-use plastics and take a responsible approach to the environment.
Modern reusable nappies are easy to use and wash, they do not contain chemicals which may come into contact with the baby’s skin and are no longer comparable to terry towels of the past.