Stop sending nappy waste to landfill

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3 billion used nappies are sent to landfill every year in the UK, that is 8 million nappies every single day. Most of these are single use plastic which could be recycled. Some are natural fibre eco- nappies which could be composted. Several eco-nappy brands have replaced materials to enable nappies can biodegrade up to 80%. 

Unfortunately landfill conditions do not enable these nappies to biodegrade at an optimal rate. And the rate of degradation of plastic nappies is horrifying. According to US study it takes a lettuce 25 years to decompose in landfill so it is unsurprising that standard plastic nappies are expected to still be in landfill in 500 years. And as they do breakdown they release methane due to the anaerobic digestion. 

Both plastic and natural fibre nappies currently make up approximately 10% of black bin waste destined for landfill. Diverting this to compost and recycling would drastically reduce landfill waste. 

Councils in Wales will divert 45 million nappies from landfill this year (2019) through the implementation of nappy compost and recycling services.  

Wales is the only country in UK subsequently on track to achieve its 70% reuse and recycle target by 2025.England, Scotland and Northern Ireland look set to miss their targets of 50% of waste being reused or recycled.

Many councils point to their long running Real Nappy schemes as their answer to nappy waste. But the penetration of cloth nappies remains fairly static at c7% and shows limited sign of growing further. Therefore tackling the 93% market share of disposable nappies is critical. 

We believe that without stricter controls councils will continue to send waste that can be recycled to landfill because it is cheaper.  We must pressurise DEFRA to impose stricter controls on and encourage them to invest in viable composting and recycling technologies. These technologies have been proven by Knowaste, NappiCycle and Envirocomp but they require government and councils to support them. 

Please sign this petition for DEFRA to impose the same targets and penalties scheme as Wales has done so successfully, across the whole of UK. 

Please act before the world becomes one big dirty nappy bin. Every single day another 8 million nappies are added to the landfill pile.

Sources: DEFRA, WrapUK, Nappicycle, BBC , CBC and(