This week marks Reusable Nappy Week in the UK and further afield. Brands, NGOs, nappy libraries and enthusiasts will be taking advantage of the event to promote the benefits of reusable nappies to parents.
This year, The Nappy Alliance has chosen to focus on the most pressing issue of the moment: the cost of living crisis.
44.3% of parents who responded to The Nappy Gurus’ ‘’Great Big Nappy Census’’ in 2021 said that the upfront cost of reusable nappies was the biggest factor in reluctance to use reusables.
We know that in the long run families will save money using reusables, as the total cost is hundreds of pounds less than using the market leading brand of disposables, but many families will struggle to find the cash to buy reusable nappies in one go.
Reusable Nappy Week is a great opportunity for parents to grab a bargain from the many promotion events run by brands, but parents still need year-round help to afford reusable nappies.
The cost of single use nappies is not only felt by parents – local authorities also shoulder the disposal costs of the 5000 -7000 nappies per child that will be used before potty training.
Hampshire Council recently measured that 5.7% of all household waste is made up of single use nappies.
This equates to a UK-wide figure of 1.5 million tonnes of single use nappies being thrown away every year and, as the UK runs out of landfill space, nappies are increasingly being incinerated, releasing carbon and other harmful pollutants into the atmosphere.
More and more local authorities are promoting the use of reusable nappies, but in a recent Nappy Alliance survey 58% of parents who responded said they don’t have access to a local reusable nappy incentive scheme.
Incentive schemes can help local authorities encourage more parents to try reusables – the best and most successful schemes don’t just provide financial help, but include expert advice and support. This can be provided by dedicated staff members, or is often provided by volunteers or partner nappy libraries.
As local authorities throughout the country make climate emergency declarations and net zero commitments, we wanted to educate and inform councillors and council officers about the benefits that promotion of reusables can bring, to this end The Nappy Alliance will be hosting a free webinar on Friday 20th May from 2pm-3pm.
We have been contacted by many parents who want to know how to convince their local authority to introduce a scheme, and Reusable Nappy Week is a great time to get active and to contact your local representatives to make sure they know how important this issue is.
Remember to personalise your email with your own experiences with reusable nappies, and do include your name and address!
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Q) Why do I need to contact my councillor myself?
A )There are over 20,000 local authority councillors in the UK! The Nappy Alliance regularly writes to elected representatives at all levels but we find that councillors and members of parliament respond much more enthusiastically to the people who they represent.
Including details of your own experiences and feelings about the issue will make councillors much more likely to attend the event and deliver a reusable nappy scheme for your area!
Q)Can I write to my MP as well?
A)Yes please! MPs and their staff are more than welcome to attend the webinar, but we would also be happy to provide a briefing for your MP in person if they are interested in the topic of reusable nappies.
Q)My councillor can’t make that date but is still interested in promoting reusable nappies. Is there another date?
A)If your councillor is interested in the issue we will be recording the webinar but we will also be pleased to give any councillors who can’t make the 20th May a separate briefing. They can arrange this by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Q) My council already has a scheme – can they still attend?
A) Yes! We believe that there are ways to improve even existing schemes. They will most likely still be able to get good information from our expert speakers.
Q) How do I contact my local councillor/s?
A) You can use this link to find your local councillors and their contact details. Don’t forget- there are elections in some local authorities on 5th May so your councillors may change after this date.