A Nappy Ending That Doesn't Cost the Earth

A local mums' group is encouraging Welwyn and Hatfield parents to give reusable nappies a go to help reduce waste and save money. 1


Welwyn and Hatfield Reusable Nappy Group is holding monthly free, drop-in sessions which are open to all parents and carers of babies and young children who wear nappies. People can come along and ask for advice, look at all the different types of reusable designs available, watch demoes and meet other like-minded parents.

It's estimated that disposable nappies take up to 500 years to breakdown in landfill. The UK currently throws away around three billion disposable nappies every year, with one baby using an average of 5000 nappies by the time they are potty trained (approx. 2.5years).

With almost 1400² new babies born in Welwyn and Hatfield every year, this means that approximately seven million nappies will enter landfill each year.

To use reusables full time, you would need just 20.

Welwyn and Hatfield Reuseable Nappy Group founder, Laura O'Malley, set up the group after having her first baby last year,

I was aware of cloth nappies before I had my daughter and applied for the free trial kit from Welwyn Hatfield Council before she was born. Since getting started I haven't looked back, however I have met lots of parents who mentioned they had wanted to use cloth but felt overwhelmed by the information online or were swayed by rumours that it would be too time consuming, difficult, disgusting etc.

The Group is working hard to highlight that times have changed and these are outdated opinions.

The modern cloth nappy has transformed the idea of using reusables. They fit your baby in the same way as a disposable, they can be put straight into the wash and are dry in no time, said Laura.

They don't have to be an all or nothing commitment but if we can support parents to replace even just one disposable a day with a cloth nappy, one family alone would save almost 1000 nappies from landfill during that child's nappy lifetime, she added.

The Council provides a free reusable nappy pack worth up to £100 or a donation of £50 towards the purchase of your own. Full details can be found at one.welhat.gov.uk.


1 Real nappies cost about 10p per use, compared with 15p to 25p for disposable nappies. Using reusable nappies from birth to potty could save you up to £500. (source: Waste Aware - Hertfordshire Partnership)

²Figure based on the number of births registered in Welwyn and Hatfield in 2017