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The 'Real Nappies for London' Scheme 2007-2012: Key Findings to Drive a Future Waste Prevention Agenda Through Landfill Reduction

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To help reduce disposable nappy (DN) solid waste to Landfill in England, the 'Women's Environmental Network' (WEN) developed 'Real Nappies for London' (RNfL) a scheme, in partnership with Local Authority, to promote the use of real nappies (RN) within several Boroughs of London. The scheme issued a voucher to residents who registered, which could be redeemed against the purchase of RN products. Over a period of 5 years from 2007 to 2012, RNfL issued 9,653 vouchers, of which 7,047 were redeemed resulting in a proposed prevention of 6,962 tonnes of DN waste to Landfill. This is equated to a Local Authority saving of around £647,466 in Landfill Tax, and disposal costs for the period, with an estimated cost to RNfL of £63,423, achieving a cost effective ratio of 10:1. In the absence of a sustainable disposal route for DN waste, increasing the use of RNs is a valuable waste prevention tool working at the top of the waste hierarchy, preventing DN use and disposal that can be rolled out across England. Success of the RNfL scheme was greatest in a context of social cohesion with community and Local Authority support. The outcome of this research suggests that the RNfL scheme has made a valuable contribution to the reduction of solid waste to Landfill.
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Keywords: DISPOSABLE NAPPIES; LANDFILL DIVERSION; REUSABLE NAPPIES; SOLID WASTE; ZERO WASTE PLACES INITIATIVE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 February 2015

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