Give babies real nappies

A child wearing a washable nappy
A child wearing a washable nappy

A SCARBOROUGH campaigner is urging parents to opt for a more environmentally friendly option when choosing nappies for their babies.

Saturday, May 16, marks the start of Real Nappy Week and it has been revealed that every year three billion disposable nappies are thrown away in the UK every year with 90 per cent going to landfill.

And according to a study commissioned by the Environment Agency real nappies are 40 per cent better for the environment when compared with disposables.

Jody Smith, a 26-year-old real nappy adviser from Scalby Road, said she was trying to raise awareness about the issue. She added: “My interest in cloth nappies started when I was fostering my brother’s three children, a couple of years ago, and all three were in nappies.

“I realised how expensive disposables were and was fed up with the smelly bin so I looked into cloth, got started and promptly got hooked. The children then returned home and I was left with a lot of nappies that were not being used so I offered them to my cousin who to be honest I didn’t think would be really interested.

“I ended up spending a lot of time at her house and showing her the nappies, she started to see the benefits and she switched to cloth full time and was then followed by her sister switching for her baby when she moved in too. Her son is now close to potty training and she will actually be sad to see the nappies go.”

She added that using cloth nappies had lots of advantages including saving money. She said: “Even accounting for extra laundry cost, water and electricity, and buying a full set of new nappies you are likely to save in the region of £1,300 over your babies first 30 months.

“They are kinder to the baby’s skin, as there are no chemicals or gels in cloth nappies, and from personal experience we saw a lot less rash with cloth than with disposables.”

Other advantages include the fact that smelly disposables are not left sitting in the rubbish bin for up to two weeks and the bins do not get as full as quickly.

Jody added that cloth nappies were also convenient because you never run out and you do not have to buy bags of disposables from the shop.

She said: “They are very cute and they just look a lot nicer. It’s good to know that we are putting a few less nappies into landfill knowing they will still be there when these babies have babies of their own.

“The environmental benefits are not just from landfill but also from the manufacture of plastics and other materials used in disposable nappies.”

She said people were genuinely interested when she mentioned the subject. She added: “I know from just talking to people that even households that already feel they are quite green simply do not realise what modern real nappies are like or how easy they are to use.”

l A special change and play event will take place at Scarborough Playzone on Monday between 10am and 1pm.