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Real nappies

Your guide to washable versus disposable nappies.

Each year there are around 3,300 births recorded in Dorset and, at an estimated 2,200 nappies per baby per year, this means there are about seven million used disposable nappies entering the Dorset household waste stream every year.

Sending all used disposable nappies in Dorset to landfill presently costs the councils around £600,000 per year.

Go Real Nappies

A transcript is available for the above video.

Did you know that...

  • eight to nine million disposable nappies are thrown away every day in the UK alone?

  • 50% of all the rubbish in a one-baby family is made up of disposable nappies?

  • to keep one baby in disposable nappies for 30 months, four and a half trees need to be destroyed?

  • over five million trees are felled every year to supply Britain with its nappies?

  • every disposable nappy which has ever been used is still in the landfill site it went in as the chemical parts can take up to 500 years to decompose?

Real nappies

Using real (reusable) nappies is cheaper. One pack of disposable nappies per week for up to two and a half years can cost over £1,000 per child. Alternatively, using washable ones can make you a saving of over £600 and they can be reused for subsequent children. Many companies recognise that the initial outlay for the nappies is expensive and allow you to pay for the nappies in instalments.

It has been estimated one baby produces 5,000 to 6,000 disposables in the few years it requires nappies. In comparison, a baby only needs 20 to 40 modern washable nappies. The choice is yours - 6,000 disposable nappies or 40 reusable ones.

For up-to-date and extensive information about different types of nappies and how to use them, visit the Go Real (opens in a new window)  website.

Real nappy forums and second hand nappies

We regret that you are unable to use the incentive scheme to purchase secondhand nappies, unless you can provide an actual receipt.


Forums are a useful way to get valuable tips and advice from other parents about choosing and real nappies.

Some examples include the Cloth Tree Nappy Forum (opens in a new window), and the Parents Lounge Forum (opens in a new window).

Secondhand nappies

It is possible to buy secondhand nappies from several exchange and auction sites.

Visit the Nappy Exchange (opens in a new window), the  Nappy Site (opens in a new window) and The Used Nappy website (opens in a new window).


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