Green scheme drives sustainable nappy change in Wigan

A sustainability initiative is helping Wigan Council’s residents achieve a mindset change when it comes to nappy changes.

This came after container manufacturer Taylor awarded the authority £1,136 to promote reusable nappies and reduce the council’s level of nappy-related contamination.

The Taylor initiative called Green Rewards enables UK town halls to accrue points for every Taylor and Bigbelly product purchased.

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The points are then converted into money, which the Droitwich firm releases to participating councils on the condition that it is used to fund local sustainability projects.

Taylor’s Kevin Docherty (second from left) presents Wigan Council’s Louise Atherton, Peter Davies and Coun Paul Prescott, and Birth 2 Potty’s Lisa Woodger (far right), with a cheque for £1,136 at a reusable nappy event at Armed Forces HQ in Wigan
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Wigan Council has committed to making the £1,136 available to Birth 2 Potty: a local organisation founded by Lisa Woodger, in a partnership that will seek to further promote the economic and sustainability benefits of using reusable nappies instead of disposable nappies.

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The move comes after the council discovered that its recycling waste stream was regularly being contaminated as a result of people throwing their disposable nappies in the wrong container.

The money will be used to fund events like Birth 2 Potty’s "Nappuccino” series across Wigan, where new mothers can get together over a coffee at local cafes and libraries, participate in demonstrations on how to use reusable nappies, which are run by Lisa, ask questions and receive subsidised packs of reusable nappies in order to kickstart behavioural change.

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On receiving the Green Rewards funding, Lisa said: “The reusable nappy has come a long way since the days of terry towelling.

"For as little as £200, mothers can purchase a set of nappies that will support two children from birth to potty training, which is a fraction of the cost of disposable nappies.

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"Not only that, but reusable nappies don’t rely on harmful petrochemicals used to manufacture disposable nappies, so it’s not only cheaper in the long run, but also more environmentally friendly, too.”

Coun Paul Prescott, cabinet portfolio holder for the environment at Wigan Council, added: “By the time a baby is potty-trained they could have used between 4,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies.

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"This is a considerable amount of waste, with each disposable nappy estimated to take 150 to 500 years to break down.

"Nappies also often end up in the wrong bin, contaminating recycling that’s collected.

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"By working with Birth 2 Potty, and with the funding support from Egbert Taylor, we’re looking to support parents and carers in changing their behaviour, reduce waste contamination and open people’s eyes to the cost benefits reusable nappies offer.”

Kevin Docherty, area business manager at Taylor, said: “With Green Rewards, we’re aiming to give back to local authorities in a sustainable and meaningful way.

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"By providing them with a pot of money to fund sustainable projects at a local level, we’re hoping to create a circular process that not only benefits the councils, but also the residents who make up their community.

"We’re delighted to see the Green Rewards scheme being brought to life in Wigan and applaud the council and Birth 2 Potty for their efforts to drive behavioural change.”

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For more information on Green Rewards visit: https://egberttaylor.com/products/greenrewards/.