Plan to subsidise nappies

Families and the environment in the Mackenzie district could both stand to benefit if a scheme is approved to encourage parents to switch from disposable nappies to cloth nappies.

The Mackenzie District Council assets and services committee will tomorrow

consider a project to provide subsidised packs of cloth nappies in an effort to cut the amount of solid waste that is sent to landfill and reduce costs for parents.

Council solid waste manager Angie Taylor said it was proposed the $3100 project be funded through the council's waste levy from the Ministry for the Environment, which was calculated on the amount of tonnage sent to landfill.

''I think a number of councils or districts have run similar projects around the country and they have been really popular.

''It is also a good way that we can help families out as well, as a side benefit.''

If the scheme was approved, parents would pay $20 for a pack of three nappies, which would otherwise have cost about $100.

Miss Taylor said although cloth nappies were not a new idea, modern cloth nappies provided a more ''user-friendly'' alternative to traditional ones.

''From my own point of view, I have got a toddler and so I have been through cost [disposable] nappies and I realise how much waste can go out in disposable nappies.''

She also recognised how much that could be reduced by using cloth nappies and how easy they were to use.

The district had about 50 births each year and it was proposed the scheme start with a 50-pack trial.

The Waitaki District Council started a similar scheme in 2010, and council spokesman Elton Crane said the scheme was still in use.

''The cloth nappies have proven popular in the Waitaki district and parents have been making the conscious decision to go with cloth nappies.

''Even if parents alternate between cloth and disposable nappies, it has a lasting impact in terms of diverting waste from the landfill.

"Cloth nappies come in a range of styles and colours and are very easy to use. The only difference really is that you throw them in the washing machine, rather than the rubbish bin.''



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