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Was just browsing through Birmingham City Council’s recycling webpage when I stumbled across this, outlining the perils of disposable nappies. Apparently the new menace on the block is Pampers, and the council are encouraging parents to switch to ‘real nappies’.

This apparently goes as far as putting on ‘nappucino’ mornings for parents, demonstrating the benefits of the ‘real nappy’ against the typical disposable nappy available in shops. All of this seems a bit crazy, but as one of the first links on the City Council’s webpage, it appears that our elected officials are taking the threat very seriously.

Will it take off? Well, a quick browse through the ‘real nappy’ advice page is, for a 19-year-old man with no children and no immediate plans to have one, frankly bewildering. From what I can garner you have to put together the nappy from scratch, which seems rather inconvienient considering nappies from the supermarket are ready to use. Add to the fact you can’t actually just pick these ‘real nappies’ up from the shop and it all seems a bit too much effort for parents who probably haven’t slept for a good six months or so.

Nevertheless, there does appear to be a good reason for the campaign, with disposable nappies apparently contributing 50% of waste of a family with one baby. According to the website, ‘real nappies’ are also cheaper than disposable nappies. However,  the council’s ace in the hole appears to be a cashback scheme, in which the council will pay families £30 for every £50 on ‘real nappies’. There’s even a try before you buy scheme. However, the advice to buy second hand nappies is probably about as welcome to parents as Tiger Woods and John Terry appearing on the panel of ITV’s midday estrogen-fest ‘Loose Women’.

It’s clearly something the council want to push heavily, but I’m not entirely sure pressurising parents is the right way to go about a recycling policy. It’s something I’ll have to research in more depth, but the recycling system in most regions seems to be somewhat of a fiasco for most people as it is, so perhaps more refining of the actual system would serve the public better than telling parents to change their child’s nappies?

Anyway, it’s something I’ll be keeping my eye on. I’ll post an update when I’ve had more time to look at the council’s recycling policies in more depth.

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