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Why it's important to fight against single-use plastic pollution

The Issue

The UK throws away nearly 3,000,000,000 disposable nappies a year, costing local authorities over

£60 million per annum for disposal, all of which will go through household waste streams which means either incineration or landfill where they can take more than 300 years  to break down. Disposable nappies are one of the biggest contributors to single-use plastic waste, the worst cause of contamination in recycling and cost councils and parents too much money whilst damaging the environment.

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3 billion disposable nappies thrown away each year

Disposables take over 300 years to decompose

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Disposables account for 2-3%

of all household waste

400,000 tonnes of waste

caused every year

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Nappy_Alliance_infographics

3 billion disposable nappies thrown away each year

Nappy_Alliance_infographics3

Disposables take over 300 years to decompose

Nappy_Alliance_infographics2

Disposables account for 2-3% of all household waste

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400,000 tonnes of waste caused every year

With the average baby getting through 4,000 disposable nappies by the time they’re potty trained, and with disposable nappies being one of the worst sources of contamination in recycled waste, reusable nappies significantly reduce material in the waste system. The average daily plastic consumption of single-use nappies is equivalent to throwing away seven supermarket plastic bags per day.

 

Even the occasional use of reusable nappies makes a major difference to the level of waste produced by local authorities; using just one reusable nappy in place of a disposable every day could save 730 nappies from landfill during the early stages of a child’s life.

 

 

Reducing the country’s reliance on disposable nappies supports the government’s objective of eliminating all avoidable waste by 2050 and all avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042 as contained in the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.

Central government supported schemes that help drive behavioural change at a local level will be essential to meet these targets. Behavioural change will mitigate the need for a ban of specific products in the run up to the 2042 and 2050 targets.