Derry City & Strabane District Council are to introduce a £30 per child subsidy to help families switch from plastic nappies to the environmentally friendlier terry towelling versions.
The Council’s Environment & Regeneration Committee green-lighted the incentive this week to help cut down on single-use nappies, which it’s estimated make up 3 to 4 per cent of all household waste.
Households will be able to apply for a £30 refund when they spend £50 or more on reusable nappies if the scheme gets Full Council approval later this month.
Head of Environment, Conor Canning, said switching to reusables could save £600 per child by the time they’re ready for potty training. Any uptake would be welcome as the Council presently pays £108 per tonne to dispose of residual waste.
SDLP Colr. Angela Dobbins said: “I’m old enough to have used the terry nappies. It was a blessing looking out at the nappies blowing on the line. As a grandmother I’m also aware of the price of disposable nappies going up and up and up.”
Sinn Féin Colr. Sharon Duddy said: “If it saves £600 over two years, that’s £300 per year and a massive saving over a year for a family.”
DUP Alderman David Ramsey said: “It’s another step on the way to zero waste. We need to get rid of black bin waste and nappies are a major factor in black bin waste.”
SDLP Colr. Brian Tierney said the scheme needed to be promoted widely but suggested it may prove an uphill batttle encouraging greater use.
“Everything now is about convenience. There is nothing convenient about washing nappies when you take all the other day to day pressures,” he remarked.
Sinn Féin Colr. Sandra Duffy said: “There could be a social enteprise opportunity for a local business to go around collecting the nappies and delivering fresh batches.”