Each year there are around 2,700 births recorded in Dorset and, at an estimated 2,200 nappies per baby per year, this means there are about six million used disposable nappies entering the Dorset household waste stream every year.

It currently costs the council around £400,000 per year to send all used disposable nappies in Dorset for Mechanical Biological Treatment (MBT), along with household rubbish.

Using reusable nappies is cheaper. One pack of disposable nappies per week for up to two and a half years can cost over £1,000 per child. Alternatively, using washable nappies can make you a saving of over £600 and they can be reused for subsequent children.

Even if parents use a combination of reusable nappies and disposables, they will still save money, and may even be able to sell them on and get their money back, once their family is complete.

It has been estimated one baby produces 5,000 to 6,000 disposables in the few years it requires nappies. In comparison, a baby only needs 20 to 30 modern washable nappies, depending on how often you want to wash them. The choice is yours - 6,000 single-use disposable nappies or 30 reusable ones. 

Learn about the many benefits of using washable nappies: watch an introductory video.

You can also save money and help the planet further by buying pre-loved nappies that are sold through the Dorset Cloth Nappy Library. These pre-loved nappies are cheaper than buying new and are sometimes offered for free. The group also offers a free trial of reusable nappies for 2-4 weeks so you can try out different types before you commit.  

Reusable nappy incentive scheme

Parents can save £30 when spending a minimum of £45 (excluding delivery) on reusable nappies, or they can choose to apply for a free reusable nappy starter pack.

Choose one of the following schemes:

  • apply for a £30 voucher - Parents can spend their voucher with one of the retailers from our list of local reusable nappy retailers. The voucher will expire after two months
  • claim £30 refund - Parents can buy their reusable nappies from any retailer of their choice, including those on the internet. An itemised receipt will need to be provided. Receipt dates must be within two months of application. A payment of £30 will be paid into the parent's bank account
  • apply for a free reusable nappy starter pack – choose to receive one of three discounted starter packs which would usually retail in excess of £70

Reusable nappy starter packs

We work with 3 local retailers who offer a free starter pack to parents living in the Dorset Council area. You need a starter pack voucher and a delivery charge may apply.

The starter packs come in a mixture of ‘one size’ and size 2 nappies, which fit from 10lbs or 6 to 8 weeks, all the way to potty training. These retailers are also happy to discuss reusable nappy options for your newborn.

Option 1 is offered by Loving by Nature and includes:

  • 2 Fiyyah pocket nappies
  • 2 LittleLamb bamboo nappies (size 2)
  • 1 LittleLamb wrap (size 2)

Option 2 is offered by Fox and Marsh and includes:

Brands and prints will vary

This starter pack could be adapted for an older child with an existing medical condition.

Option 3 is offered by Bourne Green and includes:

Please note that brands, items and prints will vary depending on stock levels.

Get money off

As a bonus to our voucher, refund or starter pack schemes, Dorset Council residents can save even more money with a discount off some reusable nappy retailers! You can still claim a £30 refund from our scheme if you use this discount, as long as your total spend is £45 or more (excluding delivery).

Use code ECODORSET when you order online to get 15% off

You can use your discount on:

The discount won’t usually apply to items already on offer and on some bundle or kit sets. 

How to apply

Apply online

You can apply for one of the reusable nappies incentive schemes online.

If you would prefer, you can download our paper application form and return it to us with proof of address, plus a photocopy of the baby's birth certificate (or a photocopy of a MAT B1 form if the baby has not yet been born).

Please note the following:

  • a minimum spend of £45 applies for the £30 voucher or refund, which must be made in a single transaction. Parents applying for a refund will be required to send in a copy of an itemised receipt (receipt dates must be within 2 months of application)
  • parents can buy reusable nappies, wraps and reusable nappy accessories (such as reusable wipes, nappy buckets or liners), or choose to purchase a reusable nappy hire kit
  • babies must be aged 18 months or under and must live in the Dorset Council area
  • only one claim can be made per baby
  • parents will be asked to send proof of address plus a photocopy of the baby's birth certificate (or a copy of a MAT B1 form if the baby has not yet been born)
  • parents may be contacted for feedback at a later date
  • applications submitted for older children, with an existing medical condition, will be considered on a ‘case by case’ basis

This offer is also available to foster carers.

Please note 300 applications will be accepted from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

For any further questions about the scheme, please email us.