You could soon be using your baby’s nappies as furniture for your garden or as roof tiles for your house.
That’s under a new recycling pilot in Scotland, which could prevent 160 million nappies from being sent to rubbish dumps.
Funded by Zero Waste Scotland, the disposable nappy recycling scheme will initially be put into place in four councils to see if it would be practical for a wider service in the future. The service, offered to around 36,000 homes across Scotland, will recycle nappies to make garden furniture, park benches, decking, railway sleepers, fencing, roof tiles and cardboard.
Roy Brown, CEO of Knowaste, the company supporting the trial collection services said the specialist recycling facility is the first of its kind in the UK: “We use new technology to allow us to turn absorbent hygiene products, previously unsuitable for recycling, into valuable plastics and fibres, which can then be used to make new products.”
Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead said disposable nappies have a huge impact on the environment and this scheme could work in favour of the economy: “It’s great that new technologies allow us to recycle even more materials. In this way, we can reuse our waste and treat it as a valuable resource with the potential to boost our economy.”
The scheme is expected to make it easier for parents and carers to do their bit for the environment.
Defra’s research suggests an average of 4.16 nappies per baby per day are used, with more than 90% of babies using disposables.