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Last Updated: Friday, 22 April, 2005, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Trial puts 'real' nappies to test
Pack of disposable nappies
The average baby is said to use 6,000 nappies over 2 years
Real nappies are being put to the test in Somerset to find out if they are a genuine alternative to disposable ones.

Three sets of parents, including a first-time family and one which used throwaways with a previous child, will try washable nappies for two months.

The Somerset Waste Partnership is attempting to reduce the amount of disposables going into landfills.

Trial coordinator, Bex Smith, of cloth nappies firm Hempresto, says there are many misconceptions about real nappies.

Mess myth

"The biggest barrier is breaking the myth that real nappies are all pins and mess. They may have been 20 years ago but we have all come a long way since then," she said.

"For a start there are no more nappy pins and studies show that in the long run real nappies could save families over 500 for a first baby.

"The savings obviously increase significantly when the same nappies are able to be used again for the next baby too."

Each of the trial families will be given sets of different real nappies to try out and provided with the necessary equipment such as liners and nappy covers.

Their progress will be monitored throughout the trial and they will be asked to fill in a questionnaire in two months time to see if their attitudes have changed.

Steve Palfrey, waste strategy co-ordinator for Somerset County Council, said: "The average baby uses 6,000 nappies over 2 years. This is a high enough figure on its own, but when you multiply that with the number of babies in Somerset it becomes a huge amount of nappy waste that has to be disposed of."

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06 Oct 04 |  Nottinghamshire

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