North London’s nappies ‘significantly hindering recycling efforts’

The North London Waste Authority says contamination mean the recycling efforts of more than 1,000 households are regularly wasted

Big Zero Report 2022

Dirty nappies are significantly hindering recycling efforts across North London.

That’s according to the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), which has launched a campaign highlighting that almost half of parents mistakenly believe bio-degradable and compostable nappies can be recycled.

The group claims hundreds of lorry-loads of recycling have to be thrown away because of nappy contamination, regularly wasting the recycling efforts of more than 1,000 households.

It calls for parents to use standard rubbish bins to throw away nappies, after a tenth of parents of children under the age of three admitted to putting them in recycling bins.

Three-quarters of parents admitted they were confused by labelling on the packaging of disposable nappies.

The NLWA says recycling centre workers are forced to remove filthy nappies from piles of waste by hand so the rest of the recycling can be processed properly – despite these efforts, taxpayers in North London are hit with a £1.5m contamination cost every year.

The organisation urges nappy manufacturers to make it clearer to customers that nappies cannot be recycled and must be thrown in the general rubbish bin.

Chair of NLWA, Councillor Clyde Loakes, said: “It’s hard to overestimate the scale of this unsavoury problem. We know parents want to do the right thing.

“That’s why we’re asking parents to put used nappies in the general waste bin. Contamination of recycling damages the environment, is costly for taxpayers and leaves recycling centre staff having to remove soiled nappies by hand.”

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