Go Real Urge Government to Adhere to Waste Review
Go Real, the national Real Nappy Information Service and the Real Nappy Alliance, Trade organisation for Real Nappy Manufacturers and Distributors, have today urged Government to follow the principles set out in their recent Waste Review by providing an independent review of nappy recycling technology.
The plea comes as the first nappy recycling plant is due to open in West Bromwich this summer and with the announcement of further plants to come.
Go Real, which promotes the use of washable or “Real Nappies” as the most environmentally friendly nappy option and the most cost effective for parents and Waste Disposal Authorities claim that the move to introduce nappy recycling to the UK goes against the principles of the recently published Waste Review which placed significant focus on waste prevention.
Chief Executive Jon Rolls said: “The Waste Review gave a clear priority to waste reduction and in particular Life Cycle thinking. We are concerned that an independent Life Cycle Assessment has not been carried out for nappy recycling.”
Go Real advocate that Real Nappies are the most favourable option when considered against the waste hierarchy and in terms of the potential for parents to lower their environmental impact. This claim is supported by the findings of the Environment Agency Lifecycle Assessment Report 2008. Jon went on to say: “Whilst we welcome innovative ideas and technologies that form part of the waste management hierarchy, they do need to be independently verified if public money is to support them.”
Go Real and the Nappy Alliance feel that there is more to be done in promoting Real Nappies as a viable alternative to disposable nappies. Recent research carried out by Go Real has shown that nearly 50% of women would consider using Real Nappies should they be expecting a baby, yet misconceptions around how difficult Real Nappies are to use and their effectiveness keeps participation rates relatively low.
Guy Schanschieff, Chair of the Nappy Alliance commented: “The messages are fairly simple and easy to convey but we have been hampered by misleading reports which have put pressure on Local Authorities to move away from promoting Real Nappies instead of continuing to deliver a consistent message and support for parents.”
Go Real also point out that as long as Local Authorities do not offer nappy recycling as part of their waste management services only parents who can afford the service on top of their council tax will be able to benefit from the scheme.
Existing collection services are charging over £300 for their cheapest service over a two and a half year period and this cost comes on top of buying the disposable nappies in the first place which is a considerable cost to parents. On the other hand parents are able to buy all the Real Nappies that they would need for £250, save approximately £500 when compared to using disposable nappies and be able to use these nappies on subsequent children.
Jon Rolls concluded: “We believe that the promotion of Real Nappies should be the first priority for tackling disposable nappy waste and maintain that nappy recycling should only be considered as part of an integrated waste management plan which encourages waste reduction and reuse before recycling or disposal.”
1. For images, quotes and interviews please see website
2. Go Real, the Real Nappy Information Service is a not for profit organisation which aims to provide independent Real Nappy advice to parents and provides a suite of member services to Local Authorities, Real Nappy manufacturers, retailers and voluntary groups. www.goreal.org.uk
3. Go Real is managed by Rezolve Kernow, a not for profit organisation encouraging sustainability, with a focus on waste and material resource use. www.rezolve.org.uk
4. The Nappy Alliance is a trade organisation for Real Nappy manufacturers and distributors it was founded in 2003.
5. Real Nappy benefits:
• Energy use: Using Real Nappies instead of disposables will reduce parents environmental impact by up to 40%. Parents are recommended to wash soiled nappies in full loads at a maximum 60oC using low energy rated washing machines and allowing them to dry naturally wherever possible. Washable nappies do not need to be soaked prior to washing and do not need ironing.
• Cost: Home laundered nappies could save parents up to £500 on the cost of keeping a baby in nappies. This saving is significantly more when the same nappies are used on a subsequent child.
• Waste: Nearly three billion disposable nappies are thrown away in the UK every year creating over 690,000 tons of nappy waste. Using Real Nappies can halve a family’s waste.
• Fabrics: Real Nappies are made from soft, comfortable fabrics which come in a fantastic range of styles and designs. The fabric provides natural absorbency without the need for absorbent gels.
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