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District Council's nappy scheme hits the headlines

PR 56221st February 2006

The Three Rivers Real Nappy Campaign hit the headlines this week, as stories appeared in national newspapers and TV news on the work that many local councils are doing to encourage families to try real nappies.

The District Council's cashback incentive scheme featured in many national stories - Three Rivers was one of the first local councils to offer cashback, and the District Council's scheme is still one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the country.

The District Council offers £40 cashback to families who buy and launder their own real nappies, or £80 to those who join a nappy laundering service for at least six months. The scheme is operated in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council, and part of the cost is covered by the sale of nappy refuse sacks to families who still use disposable nappies, to encourage them to give real nappies a try and make even more savings.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Ann Shaw, says:

"It's great that real nappies have been attracting so much national attention recently - giving them a try is a really simple way for families to make a big difference and the more people are aware of the benefits of using them, the better. We're proud of our innovative cashback scheme and we hope that all this recent attention on real nappies will encourage parents to try it out."

The District Council launched a campaign in January 2005 to further encourage families in the district to think about trying real nappies - since the launch of the campaign, the number of families using the cashback scheme has increased by 40%.

Nappy facts:

  • Using real nappies can save families at least £500 per child.
  • The average baby will use 4,500 disposable nappies in their nappy-wearing life, compared to 24 real nappies.
  • The 78 families currently using the District Council's cashback scheme are therefore preventing 351,000 disposables from going to landfill - enough to fill almost 20 refuse trucks!
  • Disposable nappies cost taxpayers in Three Rivers £52,000 per year to dispose of.
  • Modern real nappies are made from cotton and fasten easily with velcro or poppers - no need for safety pins. They are machine washable at 60 degrees and come in a wide range of styles, patterns and sizes.