Councils and local government are finally waking up to the fact that we cannot keep churning through the amount of single-use disposable nappies at the rate we are. While most eco-minded individuals are focussed on their Keepcup, ditching plastic straws and using reusable shopping bags, disposable nappies are going unnoticed as one of the most significant contributors to plastic pollution globally.

One baby will have around 5,000 nappy changes by the time they are potty trained. The Guardian reports that an estimated 167bn disposable nappies are produced every year, using 248.5m barrels of crude oil. Because of the unsustainable materials used to manufacture disposable nappies, and the fact that each nappy is contaminated with human waste, disposable nappies are incredibly hard to recycle. Most of them end up in landfills, where they can take upwards of 300 years to decompose! Globally, more than 300,000 disposable nappies a minute are sent to landfills, incinerated or in the environment, including the ocean… 

Disposable nappies cost the UK’s local authorities over £60 million per annum for disposable; whether this is to incineration plants or landfills! So, this is why many councils around the united kingdom and Ireland have started promoting ‘real’ nappies via ‘real nappy council incentive schemes'. 

Can I get free reusable nappies from my council?

Unfortunately, what you get from the council will depend on where you live; some councils do a free nappy sample, some do a discounted starter kit, or simply just vouchers for you to redeem. But the best thing is that most reusable nappy shops are online, so you’ll likely get reusable nappies delivered straight to your door! 

Check our extensive list for the most up to date reusable nappy incentive schemes; 

Reusable Nappy Incentive Schemes

Bedfordshire: £25 cash back on any reusable nappy or reusable training pant purchase 

Berkshire:  £30 cash back voucher

Bournemouth: £30 voucher or cash back

Bradford: Free Trial kit via Real Nappy Project worth £45

Bracknell: £30 cashback 

Broxbourne: 15% off at select retailers

Cumbria: £30 cash back

Derbyshire: £25 cash back when you spend £50

Devon: Free nappy trial

Dorset: £30 cash back when you spend £45 or more

Dudley: £30 when you spend £50 or more

Essex: £30 cash back 

Gloucestershire: £30 voucher

Guernsey: £35 cash back per child 

Huntingdon: discounts with selected retailers

Leicestershire: Free trial

Lincolnshire: Free trial

Luton - £40 cashback on real nappy purchases of £50 or more

North Somerset - Loan kits, advice and demos

Oxfordshire - Real Nappy loan scheme

Rutland - Real Nappy Trail Packs

Selby - £30 cash back 

South Gloucestershire - Discounted Nappy Kits

Wakefield - Free Washable Nappy Trial Kit

Wealdon - Lend residents a reusable nappy kit

Wiltshire - Free one-months trial kit

Wokingham - Cash back Scheme

Real Nappies for London

The Real Nappies for London Campaign provide residents of certain London boroughs with vouchers up to £54.15 to put towards real nappy purchases.

Barnet - £54.15 voucher

Bexley - £50 voucher

Camden - £54.15 voucher

Enfield - £54.15 voucher

Haringey - £54.15 voucher

Islington - £54.15 voucher

Lambeth- £40 voucher

Waltham Forest - £54.15 voucher

Westminster City Council - £48 voucher

West London Waste lend residents a Nappy Starter Pack:

Brent

Ealing

Harrow

Hounslow

Hillingdon

Richmond upon Thames

Southwark - offer a trial pack

Wales Reusable Nappy Incentive Schemes

Carlisle - £30 voucher for the purchase of real nappies; 

Denbighshire - £75 voucher for the purchase of real nappies; 

Flintshire - £75 voucher for the purchase of real nappies

Gwynedd - Free nappy trial pack or a £30 voucher for the purchase of real nappies

Pembrokeshire - £30 cashback when you spend over £50 or £60 cashback when you spend over £150 on real nappies

Torfaen - £30 voucher for the purchase of real nappies

Swansea - A whopping £100 cashback on your spend on reusable nappies

Powys - An incentive of up to £100 (minimum of £50) per family, towards the cost of reusable nappies

Scotland Reusable Nappy Incentive Schemes

Edinburgh - Free Real nappy starter kit through Changeworks

Inverclyde - Grants for up to £80 cashback when you purchase reusable nappies

North Ayrshire - Real nappy starter kit, contact 01294 310000 or email wasteawarenessteam@north-ayrshire.gov.uk

Northern Ireland Reusable Nappy Incentive Schemes

Belfast City Council - Free two week nappy trial and £30 cashback scheme on purchases of £50 of nappies

Derry City & Strabane - £30 cashback when you purchase reusable nappies

Lisburn & Castlereagh - £30 cashback when you purchase reusable nappies

Newry, Mourne and Down - £30 cashback when you purchase reusable nappies

Don't worry, if your council is not on this list, we offer a 6-week risk-free trial - learn more.