Speeches

Making sustainable sanitary and nappy products more accessible

August 01, 2019

Disposable nappies, sanitary products and incontinence products can't be recycled, take hundreds of years to decompose, and millions end up in landfill each day. 🗑️

There are plenty of reasons why - and circumstances where - disposable products are the best option for the consumer. I'm not interested in taking them away. But there are more and more sustainable products becoming available - and better uptake of these could have a real, positive impact on our landfill. 🌞

So, this week I moved a motion in the Assembly suggesting that the Government might have a role in removing the barriers to people giving sustainable products a go. These barriers might be financial, due to the initial outlay when purchasing sustainable products, or where people might have some anxiety about how to use the product. 

Some things the Government will be investigating to help remove these barriers are:
 a rebate scheme
 a cloth nappy library service
 introductory workshops
 more education material. 

It's about giving plenty of information about these products and making them as accessible as possible when consumers are making choices about what's right for them 👍

Again, disposable products have their place. I think we are all in agreement on that. That choice is not going anywhere. As Minister Steel said, we are not in the business of taking away disposable products or people’s choice to use them. But if there are barriers to using more sustainable sanitary, nappy and incontinence products—financial barriers, educational ones or anxiety-based ones—then it is worth exploring what we might be able to do as a government and in partnership with others to help reduce those barriers. Our environment depends on it.