Aylesbury residents warned over 'unpleasant' contamination of recycling with dirty nappies

Buckinghamshire Council is announcing new measures to tackle dirty nappies that contaminate the county's recycling.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 3:14 pm

The latest figures from National Survey suggest that more than one million UK nappy users are putting them in their recycling bin.

Alongside the environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy, Buckinghamshire Council is launching a new campaign aimed at stopping the millions of disposable nappies that are contaminating recycling.

Councillor Bill Chapple OBE, said: “Buckinghamshire residents are great recyclers - we're now recycling around 54% of our waste so I'd like to say thank you for all of your efforts.

Listen to Ted and throw away your children's dirty nappies

“While the vast majority of residents are really clued up on how to sort their recycling, unfortunately a few are getting it wrong and nappies are finding their way into the recycling bin.

"Nappies have to be extracted from the rest of the recyclables, this is an unpleasant job which often has to be done painstakingly by hand.

“The word recycling means to use it again; what part of a nappy would we want to use again? So please remember that nappies are rubbish. Used or not used, they cannot be recycled."

Data gathered by YouGov shows 7% of all nappies are wrongly dumped in recycling bins. Leading to millions of nappies smearing otherwise recyclable waste.

Buckinghamshire specific data reveals: 3% of lorry loads collected for recycling in Bucks contain nappies.

Further information in the YouGov poll showed 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.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: Recycling contamination, including disposable nappies, costs local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and stops many tonnes of waste from being recycled.

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