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Is it time to think seriously about nappies?

Following recent news, it would seem Local Authorities are starting to think seriously about Absorbent Hygiene Products, like nappies. 

Most recently, parents in the north were left annoyed after being told by Anglesey Council that they must prove their child is under three if they want bin men to collect dirty nappies. The critical reaction to the so called ‘nappy proof’ however, encouraged the local authority to rethink its approach and make changes to its new nappy collection service.

On a more positive note, Surrey Council is calling on potential bidders to come up with innovative ways to handle absorbent hygiene products, such as nappies.

Travelling up north to the Highlands, next on the list is Falkirk Council, who have introduced AHP collection services to the monthly system. By changing the green bin collection to every four weeks, the council recognised that some households may need help to dispose of nappies and incontinence products (AHPs). To help the council have introduced an additional collection service, which comprises of white bags that will be collected every two weeks from households after submitting an application form. 

Even better, Scotland’s environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham has said introducing monthly residual collections to households makes "perfect sense”. She stresses the importance of other recycling services, especially food waste and AHP when using monthly collections.

Most recently, Chelmsford City Council have approved fortnightly black bin collections, which will start in January. During the council meeting, it was interesting to hear Lib Dem Councillor Mark Springett raise concerns about the length of time nappies and incontinence pads would be left in bins.

It is great to see a gradual step change in attitudes towards this type of waste stream. The UK throws away around 3bn disposable nappies a year, so we think it’s about time.  


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