Government is ‘looking at’ possibility of reusable nappy schemes

The Government is “looking at” the possibility of schemes to encourage the use of re-usable nappies, a minister has said.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 7:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 7:49 pm

The idea of schemes or incentives to convince parents to switch from single-use to reusable was raised by DUP MP Jim Shannon (Strangford) who told the Commons that he has three young grandchildren.

Environment minister Rebecca Pow then told Mr Shannon that it was something the Government was “exploring”.

Mr Shannon told MPs: “The reason why I bring this forward, and I use the figures, the figures show that about three billion single-use nappies are thrown away annually in the UK at cost to local authorities of some £60 million.

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The Government is “looking at” the possibility of schemes to encourage the use of re-usable nappies
The Government is “looking at” the possibility of schemes to encourage the use of re-usable nappies

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“But as we know the vast amounts of raw materials for the production and disposal, the CO2 from a nappy lifecycle generates the equivalent of 15,000 plastic bags, around half a tree in fluff pulp per child.

“The reason why I bring it forward is because I believe that reusables use 98% fewer raw materials and generate 99% less waste and can deliver a saving of over £1,000 for parents.”

Mentioning a pilot scheme by a council in his constituency, Mr Shannon asked whether it would be possible to use “starter packs” to “encourage” parents to take-up re-usable nappies and added: “I do believe we could use this legislation to encourage this government and the regional governments as well and others to provide the funding packages to encourage reusable nappies for those who want to do it but don’t know how and when to start that journey.”

Responding as she closed the debate on the Environment Bill for the Government, Ms Pow said: “We are indeed exploring reusable nappies, I did use them certainly for one of my children, it’s something we’re looking at so thank you for that.”

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