Green Bottoms and Plastic
The UK produces a whopping 5.2 million tonnes of plastic each year and to this the Nursery sector contributes a great deal. Kids Allowed reported they had changed their practice to take out unnecessary plastic waste, after an audit showed they disposed of 73,000 aprons, 209,000 nappies and a staggering 461,000 gloves in 2017. This staggering amount is not at all unusual and here’s what Nurseries and Parents can do to address this…
Have a look at www.thenappyalliance.co.uk they have clearly broken down what we need to do in order to move into real nappies-and save not just landfill and pollution, but also vastly on electricity, water and plastic.
Disposable nappies go into landfill, and they stay on the planet for ever or as good as. Biodegradable nappies take several years to biodegrade. Sending your nursery nappies to become fuel or Biofuel is another solution, although the waste processing products still worry us and need investigating with the supplier. You can try www.greenbottoms.co.uk or www.phs.co.uk.
Cloth nappies- However, nothing surpasses the cloth nappy, if you can get the logistics right, staff on board, and parents to try it. Bright Bots Terry Squares ‘are just the right thickness, and can be folded in a multitude of ways, and fastened with traditional pins. A good website for parents to look at is www.thenappylady.co.uk, which has great instructive videos on fitting and cleaning cloth nappies.
Bamboo nappies - Another good choice is to use Little Lamb (bamboo) nappies, as bamboo is easily grown and compared to disposable nappies these contain minimal plastic. Little Lamb claim: “Once a full kit of nappies and wraps have reached the end of their life the 'plastic' components (Velcro and snaps) are only equivalent to a 1 litre milk carton in weight!”
Aprons with Green Strings Attached
Wipe clean aprons last and last. They can be cleaned with friendly antibacterial wipes or antibacterial dampened cloths.
100% biodegradable single-use aprons and gloves can be found at www.gvhealth.com. GV supplies a lot to the NHS and says it “has taken important steps to reduce the amount of virgin polythene and significantly increase the amount of recycled material across its complete range of healthcare disposables.”
Gloves are off, to Fight Plastic
Washing hands - We have found that the best prevention of cross-contamination is the washing of hands using an Earth-friendly antibacterial soap bar, but there are also antibacterial natural wipes, see below. (Although where there is blood or a particularly messy nappy gloves should be worn.)
Swipe Away Wipes
No wipes? Did you know many parents believed wipes were flushable, and may have felt misled by packaging? The consequences of this are that rivers are strewn with wipes that will never go away unless we physically remove them from the water! In parts of the Thames in London, it has been reported that there are as many as 200 wipes every meter. They clump together, forming filthy reefs and change the shape of the river.
Choose bamboo, biodegradable, natural and planet friendly wipes if you have to use a wipe, such as from www.beamingbaby.co.uk. Natural, biodegradable, antibacterial wipes are available from www.ecover.com or www.biggreensmile.com
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