If you had a bub in Perth, Western Australia in 2017, you might have noticed a nappy shaped flyer that contained some alarming facts about disposable nappies. When dealing with a new baby, recycling is probably the last thing on your mind.
Next time you change your baby’s nappy however, spare a thought for the workers in one of the many recycling facilities around the country.
Every month, thousands of dirty disposable nappies are wrongly deposited into recycling bins around the county. These nappies must be removed from the recycling stream by hand; otherwise they can end up mixed with the paper products. A single nappy can compromise the ability to recycle literally tonnes of paper. A pretty crappy outcome on all accounts.
Some people genuinely believe that nappies can be recycled. Even though disposable nappies are made from a combination of plastic and paper, they aren’t able to be recycled. So help look after your baby’s planet and keep those nappies out of your yellow top bins.
What can you do to help:
• Make sure nappies are always disposed of in your general waste bin. Check with your council to find out which bin this is.
• Where possible, flush the solid contents of your baby’s nappy before disposal. That way your baby’s deposits can be processed through our sewage system, instead of rotting in landfill. Rotting items in landfill create methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
• Try switching to cloth nappies some or all of the time. The average baby has about 5000 nappy changes in their lifetime, costing in the realm of $3000. Not to mention the amount of water and other precious natural resources that are used to make the nappies.
• Check out recycleright.wa.gov.au/nappies/ for more information.