Reusable nappies not catching on, suggests new research

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Cost seems to be the biggest factor preventing parents from choosing reusable nappies but many are put off by out of date ideas about the practicality of reusables.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. Some experts have 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.


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