Each year there are around 3,300 births recorded in Dorset and, at an estimated 2,200 nappies per baby per year, this means there are about seven million used disposable nappies entering the Dorset household waste stream every year.

It currently costs the council around £600,000 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 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

Dorset Council is working with three local retailers who are each offering a free starter pack to parents living in the Dorset Council area.  Please note that a delivery charge may apply, and a starter pack voucher is required.

Option 1 is offered by Loving by Nature and includes:

Option 2 is offered by Fox and Marsh and includes:

Option 3 is offered by Bigger Bums Cloth Nappy Hire and allows you to hire a nappy kit for any size of nappies, from the list below, for 4 weeks plus receive a free nappy accessory bundle to keep. 

  • Newborn Full time kit of 25 nappies (2.3-5.5kgs)
  • Infant Part time kit of 12 nappies (4.5-16kgs)
  • Toddler Part time kit of 12 nappies (14-20kgs)
  • Cub Part time kit of 12 nappies (20-27kgs)
  • Bear Part time kit of 12 nappies (27-45kgs)

How to apply

Apply online

You can apply for one of the real 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 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 2022 to 31 March 2023. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

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

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