Nappies: Recycling

(asked on 29th June 2021) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether his Department has made an assessment of the implications for its policies of the recommendations of the UN Environment Programme’s Life Cycle Initiative’s report on single-use nappies and their alternatives, published March 2021.

Answered by
Rebecca Pow Portrait
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
This question was answered on 7th July 2021

In line with the 25 Year Environment Plan, and our Resources and Waste Strategy, we are considering the best approach to minimise the environmental impact of a range of products, including nappies, taking on board the environmental and social impacts of the options available. Potential additional policy measures include standards, consumer information and encouraging voluntary action by business.

Through the Environment Bill, we are seeking powers that will enable us to, where appropriate and subject to consultation, introduce eco-design and consumer information requirements. This could include labelling schemes that provide accurate information to consumers, to drive the market towards more sustainable products. The Environment Bill will also enable us to put in place extended producer responsibility schemes as well as design and labelling requirements, that relate to the efficient use of resources, for a wide range of products, including potentially nappies.

We are aware of the UN Environment Programme's report which references a number of life cycle analyses on nappies from around the world, including the work carried out by the Environment Agency in the UK in 2005 and 2008. We are also funding our own environmental assessment of disposable and washable absorbent hygiene products, with the primary focus on nappies, to bring the research for the UK up to date. The work will be published later this year, following peer review, and the sources of the information used will be included in the final report. Any future action on nappies by Government and industry will take this and any other relevant information into account.

Reticulating Splines