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Nappy Days - Scotland's nappies to be recycled with Knowaste

Each year around 160 million nappies/diapers are sent to landfill in Scotland but a pilot scheme in four Scottish councils could put an end to that.

Over the next six weeks a disposable nappy/diaper recycling scheme will be offered to around 36,000 homes in Fife, Stirling, Perth and Kinross and North Lanarkshire. Funded by Zero Waste Scotland, this scheme will establish the best and most cost effective means of recycling nappies/diapers amd other absorbent products and the hope is that this will lead to a more widespread service in the future.

Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said "It’s great that new technologies allow us to recycle even more materials. In this way, we can reuse our waste and treat it as a valuable resource with the potential to boost our economy."

The nappies/diapers will be sent for recycling into plastcis and fibres at Knowaste and these reclaimed materials will then be used to create a range of products including park benches, garden furniture, decking, bollards, railway sleepers, fencing, roof tiles and cardboard tubing.

Sheila Sangster, local childminder, said:

"Although recycling at home has got a lot easier over recent years, nappies/diapers are something that I’ve always just put in the bin. This new service offers me an easy alternative, meaning that instead of going to landfill, this waste can be put to good use. I wish this service had been available 30 years ago when I first started childminding!"

Iain Gulland from Zero Waste Scotland said:

"Piloting different methods of collection for these products allow us to evaluate the system people prefer and are most likely to use. Turning nappies/diapers and other absorbent hygiene products into products like decking and benches might sound surprising, but putting them to good use is far better than sending them to landfill. I would urge those living in the pilot areas to take up the scheme."

Danny Gibson from Stirling Council, said:

"Stirling Council is at the forefront of striving towards ‘Zero Waste’. Taking such a challenging waste as nappies/diapers out of the wastes stream is a real milestone in this journey. If we can recycle nappies/diapers, it helps us with our goal of sending minimal waste to be buried in landfill."

Roy Brown, Chief Executive of Knowaste, said:

"Our plant is a specialist recycling facility, which is the first of its kind in the UK. We use new technology to allow us to turn absorbent hygiene products, previously unsuitable for recycling, into valuable plastics and fibres, which can then be used to make new products".

We are delighted to be part of the trials, success of which will enable more Scottish households to enjoy the service and will lead to Knowaste looking to invest in developing and building a plant in Scotland"

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