Many local councils in the UK offer incentive schemes to encourage the take up of cloth nappies to help with the ever increasing landfill costs. It costs councils approximately £100 per baby in landfill tax, and this doesn't include paying the wages of bin men and landfill staff, and the purchase and maintenance of bin lorries. It is therefore not surprising that many councils are keen to encourage cloth nappy using families. There is, however no centralised budget available for these incentives, so some overstretched councils still don't offer any cloth nappy schemes.
There are a variety of different ways your council may offer incentives:
1. Vouchers - these can be used to by cloth nappies at specific retailers
2. Cash back - some councils will give cashback after you have bought your nappies, so keep hold of any receipts
3. Trial Kits - These are loan kits made of several types/brands to give parents an idea of which sort of nappy may work best for them. They are usually borrowed for 2-4 weeks and a refundable deposit paid.
4. Special offer kits - these are sometimes available at a highly discounted price and usually contain one brand of nappy.
It is widely recognised that the very best council run incentives also have a support network of hard working volunteers that provide hands on advice and support in using cloth nappies - by holding Nappuchinos, visiting children's centres, playgroups and antenatal classes.
We are really lucky to have two councils nearby that offer some fantastic incentives. Powys offer a very generous £100 voucher to be spent on real nappies, and we have put together a great value kit to help you on your cloth nappy journey, which you can find here .
We are also really excited to be working with Gloucestershire Council as part of their Real Nappy Project, and have put together a special offer nappy pack for just £20 and the councils £30 voucher, details can be found here.
Many incentive schemes are not particularly well advertised - it is worth asking your midwife or doing a search of your local councils website to see what is available!