Despite environmental concerns, disposable nappies still used by 95% of parents
Reusable nappies are still only used by a minority of parents despite the drive to be more environmentally friendly, new research by Mintel finds. Only 5% of parents use reusable nappies and 4% opt for eco or organic disposables despite 36% knowing that disposables aren’t great for the environment.
Cost seems to be the biggest factor preventing parents from choosing reusable nappies but many are put off by out of date ideas about the practicality of reusables.
“Some new parents are children of adults who were in disposable nappies themselves and very few families will have any notion or experience of using terry nappies,” said retail analyst Jane Westgarth. “Washable nappies have evolved too and this may be little understood by today’s throwaway consumers,” she added.
Mintel estimates that 7 million disposable nappies are thrown away every day in the UK but the eco-friendly status of reusables depends on how they are treated. Consumer group Which? has suggested that nappies washed at 90 degrees and tumble dried have a bigger impact on the environment than disposables.
For everything you need to know to ditch the disposables, check out our ultimate guide to reusable nappies.
Our 1st baby ( girl ) is due in 4 weeks. We have bought plenty reusable nappies and covers, plus some disposables for the first week or two. We are going to use reusable mainly because of the landfill problems and gasses caused by human waste in landfill. Anyone who says disposables are cheaper have not researched the amount of nappies used until potty training time, nor or are they aware of the enviromental problems in using disposables.
We have a nappy bucket with a lid, a few drops of tea tree oil in the bucket, washing every 2 days and the smell problem will be eliminated
I hope many more parents will embrace the use of "real" nappies and help make the world a cleaner place to live.
Good luck to all who try. Best wishes and stay safe.
We used disposable nappies for my little man initially, as we wanted to go to the baby show 2 months after he arrived and have a thorough look at what was on offer.
We now have 20 nappies, and also use re-usable liners and re-usable wipes. We wash the nappies at 30 degrees, and line dry them in summer or use an indoor airer in the winter. Like the other parents who have responded above, we use a bucket with tea tree oil and we have a nice wet bag to put soiled nappies in while we are out and about.
Compared to the disposables which would sit around stinking in our outside bin for two weeks waiting to be collected (we live in a Borough which alternates recycling and non-recyclable waste collections), using reusables has been easy and much nicer. As long as you have an adjustable, well fitting reusable they are just as good as disposables. Our little man's nursery is happy to use them with him too.
I think that yes, they can create a little more added work than disposables, but they are certainly a lot cheaper and environmentally friendly. We also don't ever run out of nappies and wipes and have to run to a shop to buy some, or make constant trips to the outside bin to get rid of stinking piles of disposables. They also have the added benefit that they hold his trousers up!
Perhaps if reusable nappy companies were able to offer a two week trial providing nappies and equipment to people, for free or a small fee, or if they could offer a split-the-cost type deal to spread the payment, they might get more take up. I think the main problem is that people dont really understand how easy it can be and they are worried about or cant afford the initial spend when they could end up not liking reusables at all.
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