NEWPORT is home to Wales' first ever nappy library in a bid to encourage parents to switch to more environmentally and cost-effective options.

The nappy library was opened last week at the new Wastesavers Reuse Centre in Maindee, by Labour MP for Newport East Jessica Morden.

The centre will allow parents to borrow cloth nappies to see if switching to the reusable model fits in with their lifestyle.

The Newport Nappy Library in Wales is the first professionally run operation with paid staff members to have a full outreach programme to bring the use of cloth nappies into the mainstream.

Laura Steggles, Nappy library project coordinator is encouraging parents to try cloth nappies to help with the environment.

She added: "The nappy library is here to lend re washable nappies to parents to see if they fit into their lifestyle.

"We lend kits to people if they want to try them for a month, we are the first government funded nappy library in the UK. 

"My aim is going out to baby groups, antinatal clinics, work with midwives or local health visitors to promote the use of cloth nappies and to say that the library is open if parents wish to try them.

"We would like to advise people that it is an option if they have ever thought about using cloth nappies."

The Reuse centre is home to the largest computer refurbishment programme in South Wales, alongside a furniture operation that handles thousands of items in the last year, as well as the new nappy library.

Penelope Goodwin, CEO at Wastesavers is thrilled with the new nappy library and is delighted that parents have this opportunity to help the environment.

She said: “We are here to help promote three new projects under this roof: The Newport Nappy Library; the Newport Repair Café and the Newport Makerspace project.

"We hope the Reuse Centre will become a green hub for Newport, helping reduce the number of things sent to landfill, from computers to nappies, providing a space for people to meet and learn new skills, and creating local jobs.”


South Wales Argus: A baby sits in numerous bags of nappy waste: Photo Credit: Wastesavers and Newport Nappy LibraryA baby sits in numerous bags of nappy waste: Photo Credit: Wastesavers and Newport Nappy Library

On average an estimated 143 disposable nappies are thrown away in Wales every year, the average baby in the UK uses between 5,000 to 6,000 disposable nappies between birth and potty training, compared to 23 to 30 cloth nappies.

Jessica Morden, Labour MP for Newport East, said she was was delighted to open the new nappy library within the centre.

She said: "I was shocked to discover that a single disposable nappy can take up to 500 years to decompose and that over a year, an average baby goes through 78 refuse sacks of nappies, so while switching to reusables does create more washing, it’s great for the planet and does, over time, save money. 

"It might seem daunting to switch – but the amazing team at the Nappy Library are on hand to help parents and carers, so it’s really worth giving it a go. 

"I am really excited to see the addition of the Nappy Library to the Reuse Centre, and I’m looking forward to hearing about how it gets on."

In the first year of a baby’s life, you can expect to fill 78 bin bags with disposable nappies, the nappy lending library service plans to reduce these figures by allowing parents to borrow and try out cloth nappies.

As prices rise because of the cost of living, the centre hopes that using the service will have less impact on parents buying disposable nappies, while learning that using cloth nappies will help with the environment.

She added: “This centre is part our work at Wastesavers to move beyond recycling and promote a culture of reuse and repair here in south Wales.”