Nappy Recycling in the UK
Did you know that disposable nappies can be recycled? No? Many people are surprised to learn that they can be.
Nappies are currently being recycled in the UK, with Wales having pioneered the way since 2009. There have been ups and downs along the way since 2014 but last year (2018), over 4,000 tonnes - equivalent to 20 million nappies - were diverted from landfill.
A kerbside collection is provided where nappies and absorbent hygiene products are collected and then taken to be processed. The nappies are put through a process to cleanse and then separate plastics and cellulose fibers for re-use. Recovered cellulose can be used in the manufacturing of packaging, boards, paneling and insulation and plastics are sent to secondary re-processers for recycling.
A new pilot plant in Treviso, in Italy has also been in the news for the recycling of nappies. The plan is to offer parents a service, much like the Welsh company, where nappy waste will be picked up in separate waste collections.
Nappy Recycling - across the UK
If Wales is already recycling nappies, why can’t we following our neighbour’s example and see this rolled out across the UK? Some county councils across the UK already offer separate nappy collections but why are nappies not being recycled? Is the Government or county councils seriously looking at alternatives or are they content that everything is sent to landfill?
If you would like to see changes brought in for nappy disposal and recycling across England and Scotland then please sign our petition below:
Nappy Recycling in the UK – Sign Our Petition
Jennie Potts a wife, mother and the other half of Mama Bamboo. Following a career break, she has jumped back in at the deep end: filling every role necessary for starting up a new company. When she is not investigating more sustainable living and more eco-friendly products she exercises to keep her sane; attempts to manage the 3 men in her life (her husband, her son and her dog) with limited success and on the rare occasion of a quiet moment can be found in the bath with a glass of wine and a good book.
It’s not easy to compare nappies, particularly from an ‘eco’ perspective, so we have done the comparison for you. We’ve stripped out the ‘fluffy’ descriptions, to give you the comparable facts - what materials are used in the nappies and how biodegradable they are – we’ve even checked what packaging is used.