The reason is contamination by disposable “nappies” which are not recyclable. The Chair of NLWA and deputy leader of Waltham Forest council, Cllr Clyde Loakes, is calling for nappy manufacturers to do more to prevent contamination in a letter sent to major brands today.
Now, the term “nappy” doesn’t just apply to babies, it also includes disposable incontinence pads worn by adults, and with an ageing population adult incontinence is rapidly on the rise, with one in three women and one it ten men (US figures) affected by the condition, which is growing at a rate of 6-7% each year.
So, rather than blaming the manufacturers, and apart from educating people not to put “nappies” in with the recycling dear Clyde could have used that piece in the Waltham Forest Guardian to promote the use of reusable nappies and draw attention to his own council website on that very subject.
And for Clyde himself, his prayers have been answered in one of the many promotional emails I receive every day, headed, “New absorbent underwear and lingerie - Technology Offers an Earth-Friendly, Reusable Solution”.
Over the pond 18billion (that’s 9 zeros) of what they call diapers go to landfill every year and they take up to 500 years to biodegrade.
Note: Redbridge is part of the East London Waste Authority (ELWA) and we do not have any figures for Redbridge as the last officer standing has left the building and turned out the lights. There is however, a page on Redbridge-i for reusable nappies.