More than a million people in the UK try to recycle nappies

Keep Britain Tidy, working with nine local authorities across the country, has launched a new campaign aimed at ‘stemming the tide of millions of disposable nappies’ that it says are contaminating thousands of tonnes of recycling and is calling on the disposable nappy industry to support their call for clarity.

The campaign comes after a new survey suggests that 7% of nappy users – parents, grandparents and carers – wrongly put their disposable nappies in with their recycling, which equates to more than one million people.

The survey, carried out by YouGov, also suggests 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.

Now, Keep Britain Tidy is trying to reach nappy users with a new campaign that has been tested and offers a clear message that disposable nappies should never go in their recycling.

The message to everyone who uses disposable nappies must be clearer – nappies never go in your recycling.

The campaign, fronted by ‘Ted’ and run in partnership with Buckinghamshire Council, Dorset Council, Durham County Council, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Leicestershire County Council, Milton Keynes Council, North London Waste Authority, Suffolk Waste Partnership and Wigan Council will be appearing on billboards around the country and on social media to drive the message home.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “Truckload after truckload of carefully separated and collected recycling is being rejected because so many people don’t know that they cannot recycle nappies and contaminate their recycling by sticking them in there.

“Not only is this costing our local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, it is an environmental disaster.

“The message to everyone who uses disposable nappies must be clearer – 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.”

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