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The options for nappies can seem incredibly overwhelming. Everyone has their own personal preferences, but whether you go for reusable or disposable nappies, there are some sustainable practices to follow.

What you can do

Choose not to use disposable nappies, or minimise your use of them

How can you do it

Reusable nappies are obviously the preferred choice for sustainability. If there’s a ‘nappy library’ close by, you can sign up to try different types of reusable nappies before you commit to a type. You may also want to check if there is a nappy washing service near you.

Many people have switched to cloth inserts inside a durable outer nappy, combining the leak-proof elastic of a disposable with the sustainability of washable cloth.

Before choosing a ‘compostable’ or ‘biodegradable’ disposable nappies, consider that they will not biodegrade in landfill and so will need industrial composting to be sustainable.

Another option is to use both! Many parents minimise use reusable nappies when at home or during the night, and restrict their use of disposable nappies to when they’re out and about.

Taking the next steps

Reducing waste doesn’t have to stop with nappies. Wipes can easily be switched out with something as simple as washable cloths and water.

When buying reusable nappies, avoid ‘flushable’ liners that are often sold with them.

You can also look into lobbying ‘compostable/ biodegradable’ nappy manufacturers to set up or support the industrial composting that is required to handle these products.

The impact

  • By choosing reusable over disposable, you’ll save approximately 6000 nappies from landfill per child.
  • Disposable nappies go into the landfill bin, not the recycling bin. By remembering this, you’ll help reduce the number of nappies that contaminate recycling.
  • By avoiding ‘flushable’ liners, you can be sure to not block the sewerage system.

More ideas

What others do

Glass of lemonade, bunch of straws and a plastic juice bottle

To find plastic free ideas, take the Plastic Free July challenge

Reusable carry bag, keep cups and bamboo cutlery
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