Concerns around single-use plastics help reusable nappy’s shine – from Charlie Banana


Eco-conscious parents are ditching disposable diapers as concerns around single-use plastics help reusable nappies take their place in the spotlight.

The negative impact of single-use plastics is currently a hot topic, as plans to eliminate the use of such products are currently being discussed in great depth, both within the governments world-wide and across the media.

In the UK the Nappy Alliance has welcomed government support for reducing the environmental footprint of disposable nappies and has called for a clear and timely approach to promote take up of reusable nappies.

Since 2003, The Nappy Alliance has continued to raise awareness for reusable diapers at a political level, aiming to significantly reduce the waste created by single-use nappies and help decrease the consequential cost to local authorities.

The Nappy Alliance brings together reusable manufacturers and distributors to represent the industry, dealing with political affairs and campaigning to both central and local government to promote the environmental benefits of reusable products. It is also working in line with the government to help them to achieve waste objectives.

Charlie Banana: Reusable Diaper
“It’s great that the negative impact of single-use products is being discussed,” said Guy Schanschieff, chair of the UK Nappy Alliance. “We are trying to do our bit via the Nappy Alliance to ensure that baby products are included in the environmental discussion, because switching from single-use items such as disposables to reusable nappies would have a significantly positive impact on our environment.”

He continued: “The Government’s 25 year plan outlines an ambition to ‘achieve zero avoidable plastic waste’ by the end of 2042, and disposable nappies should be included in this objective. I believe that awareness and education are a key factor here, to help parents decide which products are right for them, their baby and the environment.”

“We want to be clear that, even as a reusable nappy alliance, we don’t think that disposables should be banned because we understand they serve a purpose for many parents. What’s important here is that we can make a difference by reducing the number of disposables used and by making reusable nappies more mainstream, ensuring that they are easily available.

Widescale use of reusable nappies can dramatically reduce the amount of plastic entering our waste system and ending up in landfill. Reusables are easy to use, and do not contain chemicals which may come into contact with the baby’s skin. Because cloth nappies can be used again and again they can help parents save a significant amount of money in the first few years of a child’s life.”


Around eight million diapers are used every day in the UK, with the majority thrown into landfill. Plastics such as Polypropylene and Polyethene often make up 30% of their composition, which takes up to 500 years to biodegrade.
According to Real Diaper Association disposable nappies are the third largest single consumer item in landfills, and represent about 4% of solid waste. In a house with a child in diapers, disposables make up 50% of household waste.
The good news is, that research suggests that in the late nineties only 2% of parents were using reusable nappies and that now over 30% of parents try reusable products (nappies, swim nappies and training pants), with a third of parents switching to cloth nappies permanently. The Nappy Alliance will continue to play a vital role in this positive shift.