Nappies are not recycling!

Ted says.."Please don't put any nappies in your recycling". Just one nappy can spoil a whole truck load of recycling.

The Suffolk Waste Partnership has joined forces with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and other local authorities across the country to launch a new campaign aimed at stopping the thousands of disposable nappies that are spoiling Suffolk’s recycling.

The campaign is fronted by ‘Ted’ and will be appearing on billboards around the country and on social media to drive the message home. We are also asking people across Suffolk to help out and spread the message!

Disposal nappies should always be placed in your rubbish bin, NEVER in your recycling bin!

Picture of teddy saying "Please don't put any nappies in your recycling" and standing next to a pile of nappies.

The campaign comes after a new Keep Britain Tidy's survey revealed that seven per cent of nappy users –parents, grandparents and carers – wrongly  put disposable nappies in with their recycling, which equates to more than *one million people across the UK.

Further research conducted by Keep Britain Tidy in partnership with nine authorities across England identified that, whilst there is undoubtedly a group of people who are placing nappies into their recycling because they have run out of space in their general waste bin, there is also genuine confusion amongst disposable nappy users about whether or not nappies are recyclable.

The research identified people who are genuinely trying to do the ‘right thing’ but are inadvertently causing major issues for local authorities by putting nappies, either unused, wet or soiled, into their recycling. Nappies being placed into recycling is a problem faced by local authorities across the country, despite around 99% of them having never collected nappies for recycling.

Around 150 tonnes of used nappies end up in Suffolk recycling bins each year. This equates to approximately 3000 nappies needing to be removed from the recycling every day the MRF is in operation. 

Nappies and their contents in recycling spoil good materials to such an extent that they can no longer be recycled and can result in whole loads of recycling being rejected. It costs Suffolk taxpayers over £1,000,000 every year to clear up spoiled recycling, and nappies are a significant part of this problem.

Removing nappies from other recyclables is a truly unpleasant job which needs to be done by hand by staff at Suffolk’s Material Recycling Facility(MRF) in Gt Blakenham. So, by keeping nappies out of your recycling bins, you are not only helping to get our recycling right but protecting staff at the MRF.

Councillor James Mallinder, Chair of the Suffolk Waste Partnership, said:

“Putting the wrong things in your recycling bin can spoil the entire contents and removing used nappies is a particularly nasty job. We are therefore asking residents across Suffolk to ensure nappies never go into your recycling bin. Please always put them in the rubbish bin or consider switching to cloth nappies. These small but important changes can really help our local environment.”

To find out more about what can and what can’t go in your recycling bin, click here -

If you are interested in moving away from disposables  and how you can save money and help to reduce waste, find out more about cloth nappies here -