Cash back to reduce nappy waste

Cash back to reduce nappy waste

Cash will be put back in the pockets of parents who switch to reusable nappies, under a rebate program launched by the City of Hobart.

The program is part of the City’s goal of achieving zero landfill waste by 2030.

Disposable nappies make up about five per cent of all residential waste to landfill in Hobart, equating to about 466 tonnes – or the equivalent of 100 full garbage trucks – each year, according to council.

Disposable nappies are the fourth most prevalent material in Hobart’s residential waste, behind food waste, plastic packaging, and textiles.

“Disposable nappies are an enormous contributor to the City’s landfill footprint,” said Bill Harvey, City Infrastructure Committee Chair.

“If we’re going to achieve the goal of being a zero-waste city, then it’s vital that we change our attitudes toward them.”

On average, a child requires about 6000 disposable nappies from birth to toilet training. By comparison, it takes about 24 reusable cloth nappies to fulfil the same needs. Substituting just one nappy a day can divert more than 1000 individual nappies from landfill over the child’s life, according to the council.

Cloth nappies have evolved over the years, with the old towelling rectangles giving way to stylish designs that are as easy to use as disposables and are easy to wash. The benefits of switching to cloth nappies go beyond waste management. Conservative estimates suggest reusable nappies will save families about $2000 per child.

City of Hobart is offering 100 residents a 50 per cent rebate (up to $50) on the price of cloth nappies to assist families in making the switch from disposables. The program is also available for the purchase of reusable sanitary items such as menstrual cups, cloth pads, and period underwear.

“For a lot of people, the initial outlay can be difficult with cloth nappies, especially if they’re feeling uncertain about the effectiveness,” Harvey said. “We hope this rebate will encourage people to take that step to try something different and help contribute to a more sustainable future.”

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