As we become more and more aware of our impact on the planet, many parents are opting for reusable nappies over disposables. Disposable nappies, much like any other plastic waste, can have a detrimental effect on our environment, with reusables being a much more sustainable option.
Effects Of Disposables
- Around 3 billion nappies are thrown away each year in the UK. With each baby needing around 6,000 before they are potty trained. This means a lot of nappies sitting in a landfill site for years on end.
- It can take hundreds of years for a nappy to decompose due to its plastic content.
- The UK spends around £80 million each year of taxpayers money on sending nappies to landfill. Reducing this could see a significant decrease in these costs.
- Disposables sitting in landfill can also emit greenhouse gases, which can have a huge influence on climate change.
Benefits of Reusables
- Opting for reusables is much kinder to our planet and means fewer nappies sitting in harmful landfill sites.
- Most people will save around £1,000 when opting for reusables over disposables.
- Reusable nappies are often made with a snug soft lining, creating a more comfortable fit and feel for your baby.
- Most reusables don’t contain chemicals either, making them gentler for your baby’s skin.
- With reusables, you will always have nappies in the house. As any parent knows, the fear of running out of nappies is real. But having reusables in the home means you will always have a steady supply to hand. Meaning no quick dashes to the shops for an emergency pack.
So why are some people still using disposables, even with all the added benefits that come with opting for reusables? Many believe that they still aren’t as good as disposables and that they are more hassle than they're worth. We take a look at some common myths surrounding reusable nappies.
Myth #1 - Unhygienic
A lot of people are put off reusable nappies as they feel they aren’t hygienic, but this isn’t true. As long you change your baby when needed they will be just as clean and dry as they would be wearing disposables. When dealing with a dirty nappy, simply throw it straight in the wash or keep it in a nappy bin, basket or bucket until you do your next load.
Myth #2 - Difficult to Use
Many are put off reusables as they aren’t sure how to use them or feel they are going to be difficult to use. As we know, looking after a baby is hard work, so you don’t want to be adding extra chores to your day. But changing a reusable is just as simple as changing a disposable.
How To Change Reusable Nappies
Step 1: Undo the nappy using the fastenings
Step 2: Remove the insert or liner and tip any contents into the toilet.
Step 3: Wipe the nappy with a cloth if needed.
Step 4: Insert a fresh liner into the nappy and secure in place.
Step 5: Fasten the nappy and you’re good to go!
Myth #3 - More Washing
The nature of reusables means that they do require cleaning before they are reused and while many think this will cause an extra mountain of washing, it’s not as bad as you may think. A baby, even without reusable nappies, creates numerous wash loads, to the point where you probably feel that your machine is never off, so a few nappies added to the load each week isn’t going to make that much difference.
The cost of washing is also another concern parents have. But these extra costs, including water use, electricity and detergent only add up to around £1 a week and that’s if you wash them separately to your other loads. Reusable nappies tend to dry pretty quickly too, so tumble drying isn’t necessary either.
Myth #4 - Leaks
Some feel that they are more likely to leak than disposables. Again, this isn’t true.
Reusable nappies are no more likely to leak than disposables. They are designed to fit snug around your baby, with secure fasteners to keep it in place. Plus, the materials used are super absorbent, helping to prevent any potential leakage.
Arend Thompson, Owner of Tilly and Jasper
Lockdown Increasing Demand?
It’s not just the environmental impact that’s increasing the demand for reusables. We also saw a peak in searches for such during the lockdown too. Searches relating to ‘reusable nappies’ almost doubled in March of this year. So it seems many consumers look towards more reusable options when restrictions come into place or when shoppers start to panic buy.
It may also be a sign that the pandemic is leading consumers to make more conscious choices when shopping for their products, opting for reusables that are kinder to our planet as opposed to single-use items.
Data source: Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&geo=GB&q=reusable%20nappies)
So could a post-pandemic world further increase this demand along with other eco-friendly purchases?
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