Local Authorities and Nappies


Some local authorities choose to help parents use reusable nappies by offering an incentive. This could be financial, a small section of nappies to keep, a trial kit of nappies to borrow or a combination of financial and a loan of nappies.

Why do local authorities do this?

Single use nappies do not only cost the families using them a small fortune. It also costs the local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland around £100 per baby in landfill tax. This adds up very quickly and does not include the cost of the bin men, bin lorries or staff at the landfill site. So families using cloth nappies saves local authorities and the tax payer a huge amount of money.

Why don’t all local authorities have an incentive? 

It used to be the case that most local authorities ran an incentive scheme. But currently there is no funding from central government to help local authorities run the scheme and may local authorities found that they were not very popular. We have noticed an increase of the number of schemes starting up recently, hopefully these numbers will continue to increase.

What is a financial incentive?   

Some local authorities will give you a voucher to spend on cloth nappies with specific retailers. Others will offer you cash back with proof of purchase. You will usually need your child’s birth certificate and proof of your address to claim.

What will be in a selection of nappies to keep?

This will vary with different local authorities. It will often be an all in one nappy, a fitted nappy with a wrap and some nappy liners.

What is a trial kit?

A trial kit is a selection of nappies to borrow. There will be all kinds of different nappies to try out so that you can see which style of nappy works best for you and your baby before you commit to buying your own. You may need to pay a refundable deposit on the borrowed nappies depending on your local authority. You will usually meet with a volunteer who will talk you through the nappies, how to use them and how to care for them. You will then be able to use these nappies for 2-4 weeks before returning them to the volunteer. Some local authorities will offer a financial incentive to help you buy your own nappies once you have returned the trial kit.

Currently Go Real is working with:

South Gloucestershire
Bath & NES
Cheshire West
Cheshire East
West Berkshire

If your local authority is not listed here, please have a look on their website to see if they offer an incentive.


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