Parents call for national eco nappy scheme to tackle UK environmental issues

Frankie Lyons
Authored by Frankie Lyons
Posted: Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 13:54

As part of Reusable Nappy Week (25th April - 1st May) parents all over the UK keen to reduce their carbon footprint, a new survey reveals what support parents need to make better eco choices. 

Following The Great Big Nappy Census that revealed 88% of parents think eco-conscious parenting is important for their children¹, experts from The Nappy Gurus share five ways parents could be supported in achieving their green parenting goals:

  1. Incentive vouchers 

With the recent news of the rising cost of living, it’s important that parents are supported in purchasing products that will ultimately help them achieve a greener lifestyle. The Great Big Nappy Census conducted by The Nappy Gurus revealed that 98% of parents are eager for a national reusable nappy scheme to help them with the initial cost of reusable nappies. 

Reusable nappies are hundreds of pounds cheaper than disposable products when the cost is spread across a childs infancy, but with a bigger start up cost, a government initiative which offered parents vouchers or even free items from approved organisations would make a huge difference to parents looking to make the switch. 

  1. Better access to high street stores/supermarkets 

Across the UK baby products are accessible in most high street and supermarket stores, but eco-friendly baby products are not as widely available. 50% of parents surveyed say they would be more likely switch to a more eco friendly offering if it was available to them whilst doing their weekly big shop. 

  1. More support from healthcare professionals

The new report from The Nappy Gurus also reveals that a staggering 69% of parents think healthcare professionals could promote reusable cloth nappies more. Nappy Gurus team member, Chloe Poppleton, believes if better healthcare support was provided for using reusables, it would make for a more positive eco parenting journey²: “I never once had a midwife or healthcare professional mention reusable nappies to me when I was pregnant with my first two children. A doctor once asked if her nappy was too tight with my second child, so I’d only experienced negative/very little interaction regarding cloth until my third baby.” 

With three billion reusable nappies thrown away each year in the UK³, positive interactions and support from healthcare professionals could be the difference between parents reducing their carbon footprint or increasing their household waste. 

  1. Local nappy laundry services 

It’s no secret that although reusable nappies can save parents money and also help the environment, it does increase the weekly washing load. Over a third (37%) of the parents surveyed reported that they would be happy to implement reusable nappies into their baby changing routine, but only if there was help from local laundry services. 

The Nappy Gurus suggest that laundry services should apply a dedicated time for mums and dads to drop off their used reusables to support their eco-friendly effort. 

  1. Local nappy lending kits 

Although switching to reusable nappies is an easy way to becoming more environmentally friendly, parents across the UK would benefit from local authorities implementing a nappy lending kit scheme. A scheme like this could see parents borrowing a reusable nappy starter kit before they make further purchases. Out of the 3,900 parents surveyed, 28% said nappy lending kits would be helpful in their sustainability efforts. 

Founder of The Nappy Gurus, Laura Davies, adds: “It’s really great to know that a large proportion of parents across the UK think that eco-friendly parenting is important. With recent climate change reports revealing that we are in an environmental crisis, we need everyone to make small changes in order to reverse the damage we’ve caused.

“One way we can reverse this damage is by parents making the switch from disposable nappies to reusable ones. It’s understandable that this could feel like a big change if you’ve never used them before, and it could also feel like a knock financially. However, parents could save hundreds of pounds overall by making this switch, and with the rising cost of living, making the change now could be a great way to reduce household costs. 

“Whilst parents could be doing a lot for the environment by making this eco-friendly switch, local councils and governments should be doing more to help parents make this transition. UK parents must have access to reusable nappy starter kits and government backed schemes that provide discounts to parents buying reusables. We hope the government takes into consideration the willingness of parents to become more eco-friendly and support them on their sustainability journey in 2022.”

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