Contribution of ‘Real Nappies for London’ to Local Authority waste prevention - 2012–2016

Charles Warner, Hilary Vick, Alice Walker, Kimberley M Hill

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review


To help prevent disposable nappy (DN) solid waste, the ‘Women's Environmental Network’ (WEN) developed the 'Real Nappies for London' (RNfL) scheme. In partnership with Local Authorities (LA), RNfL promotes the use of real nappies (RN) within 9 Boroughs of London, preventing the use of 4,290 DNs per child, from new born to 2.5 years of age. The scheme issued a voucher to residents who registered, redeemable for the average value of £45 against the purchase of RN products. Over a period of 4 years from 2012 to 2016 RNfL issued 4,192 vouchers, of which 3,188 were redeemed, resulting in 3,145 tonnes of DN waste prevention. The 2012-2016 performance equated to a combined LA saving of £320,791 based on an average landfill tax of £84/t and disposal cost of £18/t across LAs in England. Cost to Las for RNfL voucher processing is £28,690(£9/voucher), achieving a cost effective ratio of 1:11. RNs are a valuable waste prevention tool working at the top of the waste hierarchy, in LAs. The resident network, built by the RNfL scheme, also provides a channel for LAs to communicate important waste messages to residents at low to no cost.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-127
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Waste and Resource Management
Issue number3 & 4
Early online date10 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2018


  • Landfills
  • recycling & reuse of materials
  • waste management & disposal


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