A report by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), has stated the UK disposes of around 3 billion disposable nappies each year, representing an estimated 2% to 3% of all household waste.
The report by the charity also stated that by the time a baby is potty trained a total of 6,000 disposable nappies could have been used.
Some of these nappies can and have found their way into recycling waste which can have a massively detrimental effect on how your recycling is processed.
Mark Penny, Commercial Manager at J&B Recycling, is asking them to think again and bin them correctly. He said: “Disposing of nappies incorrectly means that loads that could be recycled may end up being disposed of as rubbish due to the contamination of the other recyclable materials.
“The misunderstanding over how to dispose of your nappies could stem from the confusing labelled packaging on the nappies, with concern over the use of the Green Dot logo, as people may believe this means the nappies are recyclable. Or even worse it could be down to carelessness or laziness.
“It’s important for manufacturers to make labels clearer on nappy packs, ensuring they state to put the nappy itself in a residual waste bin. Some of the packaging that the nappies are supplied in may be recyclable but the nappies themselves must not go in the recycling bin.
“The symbol indicates that the producer has made a financial contribution towards the recovery and recycling of packaging in Europe, it does not mean that the packaging or content can be recycled.
“The contamination of recycling is detrimental to the environment and also results in the recycling centre staff having the unenviable job of removing the nappies by hand when the recyclables are being sorted.”
Disposable nappies are made up of several composite materials, including a plastic outer layer and other textiles that make up a complex structure that are extremely difficult to deal with and are not currently recyclable in the UK.
In an effort to raise awareness of the harm nappies can inadvertently cause to the environment, Hull Council is working with J&B Recycling to inform families across the area.
Councillor Anita Harrison, portfolio holder for waste management at Hull City Council, said: “The majority of Hull residents recycle and recycle well, but the amount of incorrect materials going in the blue bins is an ongoing concern for the council.
“We recognise that not having your bin emptied is an inconvenience, but too many of the wrong materials in people’s blue bins increases the cost and can potentially render the entire load collected on that round unsuitable for recycling.
“This wastes the efforts of everyone else and also contributes to the excessive costs the council has to face. Being more selective on the bins we empty is a necessary part of the process improvement.”
For more information about J&B Recycling and how it manages your waste, go to: www.jbrecycling.co.uk/
"Disposing of nappies incorrectly means that loads that could be recycled may end up being disposed of as rubbish due to the contamination of the other recyclable materials. "
Mark Penny, Commercial Manager, JB Recycling
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