MK Council has joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and other local authorities across the country to launch a new campaign aimed at stopping the millions of disposable nappies that are contaminating recycling.
The campaign comes after a new survey revealed that seven per cent of nappy users – parents, grandparents and carers – wrongly put their disposable nappies in with their recycling, which equates to more than *one million people.
The national survey, carried out by YouGov, also revealed that younger people, aged 18-24 were more likely to put them in their recycling bin (15%) and more than one in ten Londoners who used disposable nappies (11%) tried to recycle them.
Now, MKC is trying to reach nappy users with a new campaign that has been tested with them and offers a clear message that disposable nappies should never go in their recycling.
The campaign is fronted by ‘Ted’ and will be appearing on billboards around the country and on social media to drive the message home.
Cllr Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Public Realm at MK Council said: “We know that more and more people in Milton Keynes are committed to recycling and are trying to get it right, but every week we see a lot of things in the clear recycling sacks that shouldn’t be there, like dirty nappies.
“Dealing with things that cannot be recycled costs Milton Keynes Council hundreds of thousands pounds per year. That’s money that could be better spent to help local people. We are very pleased to be working with Keep Britain Tidy to help residents recycle correctly.”
Keep Britain Tidy’s Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton OBE said: “We are delighted to be partnering with MK Council to tackle this issue. Recycling contamination, including disposable nappies, costs local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds a year and stops many tonnes of waste from being recycled.
“The message to everyone who uses disposable nappies is clear – nappies never go in your recycling.”
Keep Britain Tidy is also calling on nappy manufacturers to label their products as non-recyclable to help avoid confusion.
Allison added: “We know from our research that there is confusion among the public about recycling – our survey has found that a third of nappy users admit to being confused - so we call on all manufacturers of disposable nappies to use eye-catching labelling that clearly communicates their product cannot be recycled.
“Our campaign features a new symbol that we would like to see carried on every pack of nappies so that there is clear and consistent advice to the public, many of whom are trying to do the right thing with what they perceive, incorrectly and tragically, is a recyclable product.”