No ‘butts’ about it, reusable nappies are a better alternative

Tweed Shire Council

Tweed residents can now receive a rebate of up to $100 on the cost of reusable nappies as part of Council’s new Residential Reusable Cloth Nappy Rebate Scheme.

The rebate encourages local parents and guardians to choose reusable nappies over disposable ones and aims to reduce the environmental and economic impact of disposable nappies at Tweed’s landfill site, Stotts Creek Resource Recovery Centre.

Residents who purchase reusable nappies as of October 2023 can simply head to Council’s website and fill out a rebate form.

Councillor Nola Firth first moved a motion to adopt a Reusable Nappy Rebate Scheme in May, which was supported by all Councillors.

“Disposable nappies are a huge contributor to plastic waste, with an estimated 1.5 billion disposable nappies currently ending up in landfill across Australia each year,” Cr Firth said.

“Anything we can do to avert nappies ending up in landfill is a positive move.

“Based on the use of an average of five nappies for a newborn baby per day – a very conservative estimate – we estimate one baby would use about 1,825 nappies per year. So, if just 100 Tweed families used this rebate per year, we would be diverting at least 180,000 nappies from the tip per year – a huge amount!”

Council has allocated $10,000 from the 2023/24 Budget to the rebate scheme, with funding to come from the Resource Recovery budget which is not related to rates income. It is believed any reduction in disposable nappies heading to local landfill would offset some of this cost.

Council’s Director Sustainable Communities and Environment Naomi Searle said the rebate was about encouraging use of a better alternative that doesn’t end up in landfill after just one use.

“Disposable nappies are one of those items that once sent to landfill, take up a lot of space and can take hundreds of years to break down,” Ms Searle said.

“The rebate isn’t about saying people should only use reusable nappies, it’s about encouraging people to keep choosing a better alternative or to make the switch if they can.”

Pottsville mother Jaz Bampton has used reusable nappies for both of her children. Her youngest still goes through four to five nappies a day. For her, reusable nappies are a better alternative as they’re safer for the environment and not as difficult to use as expected.

“Using reusable nappies is a no brainer for me. Once you get used to the cleaning process, which is simple, it works out fine and is also cheaper in the long run,” Ms Bampton said.

The young mum also said cloth nappy inserts were much better for the skin, particularly over the hot summer months.

“I have used disposables every now and then and I find they can cause more nappy rash, especially when it’s really hot outside,” she said.

The rebate scheme will be trailed over the next two years.

/Public Release. View in full here.