Nappies in Westminster: Shadow Environment Minister Bill Wiggin MP,
hosted a reception in the House of Commons today for the UK disposable
The focus was on the benefits of disposable nappies,
both for parents and babies, and to question the validity of funding
from central Government for projects to encourage the use of washable
cloth nappies as a waste reduction exercise. However, it would appear
this spending is having little effect on consumer choice. In excess
of 95% of parents choose to buy disposable nappies for their babies.
Disposable nappies make up a miniscule fraction of UK
waste, just 2.4% of household waste, and 0.1% of total landfilled waste.
Furthermore, a Life Cycle Assessment published by the Environment Agency
in May 2005 showed conclusively that there is little or no difference
in the overall levels of environmental impact created by either type
Of particular concern to AHPMA members is:
Continued funding for cloth nappy schemes
A further LCA study The introduction of commercially laundered cloth
nappies on maternity wards and the potential for cross infection
As a parent Mr Wiggin fully appreciates the advantages
of disposable nappies. He commented ‘The washable nappy is out of date
and while it may reduce landfill, other environmental impacts are worse
than with disposables. The Governments huge expenditure has not delivered
the desired results. Environmental policy needs to go with the grain
of human behaviour and we need to recognise that progress has been made
on reducing the environmental impact of disposable nappies.’
The disposable nappy industry is committed to responsible
environmental stewardship. Today also saw the UK launch of the industry’s
sustainability report for disposable nappies and continence care products.
The report outlines technological improvements such as the reduction
in recent years of the average weight of a disposable nappy by around
40%, which has greatly reduced the amount of waste they create.
Tracy Stewart, Director General of the AHPMA commented
‘Modern parents with busy lifestyles, but who also care about the environment,
can now be assured that whichever type of nappy they choose to use will
be no more harmful than the other. Over 95% of parents use disposable
nappies for their babies and it is not hard to see why, they are quick,
clean and easy to use, and better still they offer skin health benefits
to babies as they work so well.’
She continued ‘Disposable nappies are compatible with
all prevalent forms of waste management, and the AHPMA welcomes DEFRA’s
Waste Implementation Programme funding for new waste technologies. This
will move the UK away from it’s overdependence on landfill, and enable
us to reach and maintain landfill reduction targets.’
For further information or to obtain a copy of the sustainability
report contact Tracy Stewart at AHPMA on 01483 418221.
Issued by: Tracy Stewart at AHPMA Date: 21st November
The Absorbent Hygiene Products Manufacturers Association
(AHPMA) is the trade association that represents the key UK manufacturers
of disposable nappies, feminine care and continence care products. Member
companies are Accantia Health and Beauty Ltd, Arquest Ltd, Johnson &
Johnson GmbH, Kimberly-Clark Europe Ltd, Multibrands Ltd, Ontex Retail
UK Ltd, Playtex Products Inc, Procter & Gamble UK, SCA Hygiene Products
UK Ltd., Toiletry Sales Ltd.
The Environment Agency Study was published on the 19th
May and is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of disposable nappies and cloth
nappies. LCA is a scientific internationally recognised tool for measuring
environmental impact. The LCA on nappies was conducted to ISO standards
and was peer reviewed.
The LCA took four years to complete at a cost of £200k+
£2.6 Million has been allocated to The Waste Resource
Action Programme (WRAP) Nappy Waste Minimisation Scheme. Further funding
is to be allocated for 2006 – 2007 The sustainability report has been
published by EDANA which is the European Association for the non-wovens
industry, to which AHPMA is affiliated.
"AHPMA members welcome fair competition but will not stand by and let
material go unchallenged that is designed to alarm and frighten parents".
further information please contact: Tracy Stewart at AHPMA on 01483