Kerbside nappy recycling scheme to launch pilot project in Bristol
FULL ARTICLE BY BRISTOL POST
The soiled diapers will be recycled in Wales and used to surface roads and insulate homes.
An eco-friendly baby care company hopes to make nappy recycling available to all UK parents, if a six-month pilot project launching in Bristol is successful.
Pura has commissioned waste firm Natural UK to collect soiled diapers from 47 homes and one nursery group in the city, transporting them to the specialist NappiCycle plant in Wales.
The process will see the nappies – as well as hygiene products like sanitary towels – sanitised before separation of plastics and cellulose fibres for reuse in road surfacing, noticeboards and underfloor insulation.
While Zero Waste Scotland conducted nappy recycling trials north of the border in 2013, the six-month Bristol-based initiative is the first of its kind in England.
The city was chosen due to the local authority’s “progressive approach to household waste management”, according to a statement issued by Pura.
British parents and carers throw out around eight million disposable nappies every single day, the firm pointed out – around three billion each year. Each of these can take decades to fully degrade.
Nappy recycling is already widespread in Wales. Now, Pura hopes to bring the state-of-the-art service to the entire UK, aided by an awareness drive from Asda supermarkets.
Pura founder Guy Fennell said: “We’ve calculated that if all the nappies used each year in the UK were recycled, it would be the same as removing 72,000 cars from our roads annually.
“We know that nappy collection and recycling works, but it requires investment and legislation change to roll out the service outside of Wales. We need to act now and to try to convince the Government to make a change as soon as possible.”
NappiCycle’s unique diaper recycling process uses the entire nappy or sanitary napkin, with nothing making its way to landfill. Last year the firm diverted forty million nappies around eight thousand tonnes of waste – from landfill in Wales.
It was pioneered by company founder Rob Poyer in 2009. “What has traditionally been viewed as a waste product has now become a resource,” said Rob.
“I hope that the trial proves how a nappy recycling service can be provided effectively outside of Wales.”
Pura sustainability director Matt Moreland said: “Nappy recycling is an immediate solution to the problem of nappy waste. It will prevent millions of tonnes of valuable resource from nappies and hygiene products from ending up in landfill or being incinerated, now.”
He added: “There is a lot of innovation happening in the baby care sector to reduce the impact of caring for families, but this could take years to evolve. At Pura we’re so proud to be offering an instant answer.”