The environmental impact of nappies

Sea Turtle

In the UK 8 million nappies are thrown away every day. 90% go to landfill

Nappies are very convenient and innovation in recent years means they are now light and comfortable for children to wear, and they are good at keeping bottoms as dry as possible. Prices have reduced over the last decade as a result of intense competition from own label products and new entrants such as Lidl and Aldi. Regardless of this, they do still make a hole in the weekly grocery budget, especially if you have 2 or more children still wearing them.

Potty training is starting later and lasting longer than ever before, therefore it’s not unusual to have a second child while the first born is still in nappies.

Disposable nappies are a single use plastic, and in the UK, 8 million are thrown away every day. 90% of these end up in landfill. Each year 400,000 tonnes of nappy waste are sent to landfill, compared to 25,000 tonnes of coffee cups.

Nappy production requires a lot of water and energy and in a study by WRAP they were named as one of the top 50 grocery products that account for approximately 80% of GHG emissions associated with its production, transport and retail.

Once nappies are in landfill they are slow to decompose and degrading soiled nappies release some pretty unpleasant chemicals that can threaten marine life.

Another major environmental issue is the number of wipes that tend to be used during nappy changes. Wipes don’t break down in the same way that toilet paper does, and are notorious for clogging drains and sewers. Many wet wipes contain plastics to make them sturdier, but this also makes them harder to break down and this can also pose a threat to marine life.

There are environmental benefits to using cloth nappies, and wipes, however one of the easier ways to cut waste is to potty train your child as soon as they are ready to. We recommend you start looking for signs that they are ready to potty train around the age of two years old.

If you think you are ready to start potty training, join our potty training academy today.

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