New campaign urges parents to bin disposable nappies to prevent recycling contamination

New campaign urges parents to bin disposable nappies to prevent recycling contamination

Wigan Council has joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to launch a new campaign aimed at stopping the millions of disposable nappies that are contaminating recycling.

It comes on the back of new research which reveals that more than one million UK nappy users are wrongly putting them in their recycling bin.

Contamination in Wigan Borough is also a problem with waste teams at the council calculating that 138,596 nappies end up in recycling every year.

Councillor Paul Prescott, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “We all need to do our bit when it comes to deciding which items to place in the recycling.

“Unfortunately, when non-recyclable or unsuitable items are placed in the recycling, it means that particular recycling bin is considered contaminated which has a detrimental impact on our environment.

“We are happy to be teaming up with Keep Britain Tidy in this targeted campaign to hopefully get the message out to residents that disposable nappies are not for recycling.”

The campaign comes after a new survey revealed that seven per cent of nappy users – parents, grandparents and carers – wrongly put their disposable nappies in with their recycling, which equates to more than one million people.

The national survey, carried out by YouGov, also revealed that younger people, aged 18-24 were more likely to put them in their recycling bin (15%) and more than one in ten Londoners who used disposable nappies (11%) tried to recycle them.

Wigan Council is trying to reach nappy users with a new campaign that has been tested with them and offers a clear message that disposable nappies should never go in their recycling.

The campaign is fronted by ‘Ted’ and will be appearing on advertising space around the borough and on social media to drive the message home.

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Wigan Council to tackle this issue. Recycling contamination, including disposable nappies, costs local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and prevents many tonnes of waste from being recycled. 

“The message to everyone who uses disposable nappies is clear – nappies never go in your recycling.”

Keep Britain Tidy is also calling on nappy manufacturers to label their products as non-recyclable to help avoid confusion.

Allison added: “We know from our research that there is confusion among the public about recycling – our survey has found that a third of nappy users admit to being confused - so we call on all manufacturers of disposable nappies to use eye-catching labelling that clearly communicates their product cannot be recycled.

“Our campaign features a new symbol that we would like to see carried on every pack of nappies so that there is clear and consistent advice to the public, many of whom are trying to do the right thing with what they perceive, incorrectly and tragically, is a recyclable product.”

Posted on Thursday 11th March 2021
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