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by Jenni Davidson
09 October 2019
North Ayrshire Council becomes first local authority to offer free ‘birth to potty’ real nappy packs

A baby wearing a nappy - Image credit: Julian Tysoe via Flickr

North Ayrshire Council becomes first local authority to offer free ‘birth to potty’ real nappy packs

Parents in North Ayrshire parents are being offered free packs of ‘real’ nappies by the council in an environmentally scheme that aims to woo them away from using disposable nappies.

North Ayrshire Council is the first local authority in the UK to provide parents with free re-usable fabric nappies for the entire period from birth to potty training.

The council estimates its expanded scheme could save families up to £1,300 per child compared to the cost of disposable nappies, while also reducing the environmental impact of nappies by 40 per cent.

Although re-usable nappies can save money in the long term, the initial cost might put some people off and the council aims to remove that barrier.

North Ayrshire Council already runs a ‘Real Nappy Incentive Scheme’, which provides a free trial pack of three reusable nappies, two waterproof wraps, biodegradable liners and a laundry bag.

Under the new scheme, parents who want to continue using real nappies can order a full ‘birth to potty’ pack containing 20 nappies, biodegradable liners and a laundry bag.

The scheme will be funded from savings the council expects to make on sending disposable nappies to landfill.

North Ayrshire Council’s cabinet member for place, Councillor Jim Montgomerie, said: “We are very pleased to be able to offer this new, enhanced service to parents and carers.

“Families spend, on average, £1,300 on disposable nappies per child and our new enhanced real nappy scheme would remove this cost.

“Reusable nappies are already cheaper in the long run for families, although the initial expense can be a barrier for families, but they also reduce the impact on the environment by 40 per cent.

“This innovative offer, the first of it kind in the UK, will be funded through the reduced costs of sending disposable nappies to landfill and can be a win-win for families financially and our environment.

“We hope that by offering a free ‘birth to potty’ pack we can encourage more parents and carers to think about giving reusable nappies a go.”

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