Sustainabilty

Nappy waste is a big problem

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disposable nappies produced per hour globally
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disposed of in the UK each year
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years for a nappy to decompose
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wet wipes used in the UK each year

What can we do?

Switching to reusable cloth nappies is an option, but the majority of UK parents and carers use disposables, because of convenience, cost and cleaning capacity. And they’re definitely more convenient in a nursery setting.

So we need to figure out how to lessen their environmental impact.

You can now buy biodegradable nappies, but these need to be sent to special hot or industrial composters. When we fold them up, stick them shut and put them in the bin, the biodegradable components are protected from the air by the plastic outer shell and can’t break down in landfill.

Some wet wipes are now labelled ‘flushable’, but when tested, the majority are not safe to put into the plumbing system and cause blockages, as well as leaking microplastics into our water.

Can we recycle them?

We were originally inspired to start Green Bottoms when we heard that it was possible to recycle nappies, and partnered with a local facility. Great, a solution!

How does it work? The sewage waste is separated from the nappy fibres, which are dried and heated to kill bacteria. This is then shredded and can be used for a variety of purposes such as cat litter or even road surfacing.

In the two years we worked with the recycling plant we helped our customers recycle over 2 million nappies.

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nappies recycled

Energy from waste

Unfortunately that recycling centre closed, so since then we have been sending as many nappies as possible to be turned into energy from waste.

Currently around 60% of the waste we collect becomes energy. For our bigger nursery groups, this is nearer 100%, and is less for some smaller nurseries.

But even if your individual nursery is still sending some nappies to landfill, by being a Green Bottoms customer you are part of a movement for change. As a collective, our nurseries can be more sustainable.   

More recycling 

We haven’t forgotten our initial excitement about nappy recycling and in 2024 we are partnering with Pura and Nappicycle on a nappy recycling project in Bristol.

Our sustainable products

We offer our customers the most sustainable nappy and wipe options available, at a price you can afford.

Nappies

Our main nappy brand is Pura.

Better for children:

  • Absorbent, comfortable, effective
  • 0% chlorine, allergens, perfume, lotion and latex

 

Better for the planet:

  • Absorbent core made with 100% FSC certified natural plant fibres
  • Made with 100% green electricity and no production waste
  • Carbon neutral manufacturing
  • 100% recyclable packaging EU
  • Ecolabel – meaning they meet the highest environmental standards

Wipes

We offer two types of plastic-free wipes: Pura and Kinder By Nature. So far we’ve helped our nurseries avoid using 10 million plastic wipes.

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plastic wipes avoided

Efficient delivery

We changed our fleet of vehicles so we can deliver fresh nappies and wipes at the same time as collecting the waste. 

This means fewer miles of driving, reducing fossil fuel use and air pollution.

Social impact

We work closely with nursery managers, and heard from them how many families are struggling to afford the basics. Some of our nurseries are linked to local food banks or even house one themselves. 

We started donating nappies and wipes to those in need through our customers and partnerships with baby banks.

In 2024, in partnership with our customers and Pura, we’ll donate over 60,000 nappies.

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nappies will be donated in 2024

Impact reports

Our larger nursery group customers get a monthly impact report.

You can see:

  • The miles saved by grouping deliveries
  • The carbon saved by diverting waste from landfill
  • The plastic avoided by using more sustainable wipes
  • The number of nappies and wipes we’ve donated on your behalf

 

We know this is something you and your nursery parents care about. The report is something you can share with them and celebrate.

Thank you

We couldn’t do all this without our customers, so thank you.

This is what we’ve done so far, but we are always striving to be better.

You’ll be the first to know when we add more sustainable services, options and impact projects. Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about them and how you can get involved.

Thank you for being part of our movement for a greener, fairer future.

Want your nursery to have a positive impact?