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How To Recycle Nappies

28th January 2013

Image Credit: Leszek Nowak

According to the Real Nappy Information Service, 3 billion disposable nappies are thrown away each and every year in the UK. And practically none of them are recycled.

At present there is no practical way for the vast majority of nappies thrown away with domestic waste to be recycled in the UK. However there is exciting news for the future. A Canadian company called Knowaste has opened a pilot plant in the UK for recycling disposable nappies, sanitary products and adult incontinence products (the business jargon for these are items Absorbent Hygiene Products, or AHPs).

At present they only collect from washroom service companies, hospitals and daycare centres, however they are also running some doorstep collection trial schemes in Scotland and Wales. The success of these schemes will determine whether this become more widespread in the UK.

For the time being, it is still more environmentally friendly to use reusuable nappies (often called Real Nappies) as well as saving money. Using real nappies can be up to 40% better for the environment than disposable nappies. It will also save you money.

The average child who is toilet trained between the ages of 2 and 3 will get through something in the region of 4,000 nappies. While using real nappies means a larger initial outlay, you can save around £500 even taking into account the extra costs of laundry.

To find out more infomation about real nappies visit

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