Families receive free cloth nappy starter kits through Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) to tackle the environmental impact of disposable nappies

We've got some exciting news to share that involves tiny tots and a big leap towards a greener planet. Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) has teamed up with VOICE to tackle the environmental impact of disposable nappies, and it's a game-changer! Let's dive into the details.

By Abi O'Callghan-Platt

Who's Involved?

CUMH, Cork County Council, Cork City Council, Kerry County Council, Limerick City and County Council, and Tipperary County Council –and VOICE - a dream team on a mission! Together, we're rolling out the Cloth Nappy Incentive Scheme.

What's the Problem We're Tackling?

Disposable nappies are a major environmental headache. In 2022, a whopping 75,618 tonnes of nappies ended up in our bins, making them the third largest household waste.

On average a baby will use 5 nappies a day, 365 day a year for 2.5 years

Why It's Important?

Dr. Cathy Burke, Consultant Gynaecologist at CUMH, emphasises that 'this initiative isn't just about nappies; it's about sustainable healthcare. Cloth nappies are a superhero in the fight against climate change, cutting the carbon footprint and making our little ones' futures brighter. Michelle Green from Cork County Council adds that "we believe that small changes like this can make a big difference in creating a more sustainable future for our county".

In 2022, 75,618 tonnes of nappies were collected by kerbside waste services, making nappies the third largest type of waste presented by households. Choosing cloth nappies cuts the waste and weight of your bin, saves you money, are less wasteful, softer on your baby’s skin and look adorable on! This scheme gives you a chance to try a new option and set up a system at home that works for you”...Ellen Murphy, Environmental Awareness Officer, Cork City Council.

How Can You Take Part?

If you're an expecting parent at CUMH, you're in for a treat! You can snag a free cloth nappy starter kit, complete with 10 cloth nappies, inserts, wipes, a storage bag, and some handy information. For those outside CUMH, fear not! The scheme might just be rolling into your neighborhood soon. Keep an eye out and support the cause. Pop over to our dedicated VOICE page to see if your local county council is taking part - https://www.voiceireland.org/cloth-nappy-incentive-scheme

Why Should You Care?

Apart from the sheer coolness of using cloth nappies, there are real perks. Not only do they save you money, but they're less wasteful, reduce nappy rash, and come in the cutest patterns ever. Plus, you get to be a part of a revolutionary initiative that's changing the way we look at parenting and the environment.

The Cloth Nappy Incentive Scheme is turning nappy changes into a positive force for our planet. As the scheme expands, more families can join the movement. It's time to embrace the fluff, reduce waste, and make our world a better place – one cloth nappy at a time!

If you're a local authority interested in running the Cloth Nappy Incentive Scheme, shoot an email to abi@voiceireland.org.

Remember, it's not just about changing nappies; it's about changing the world! 🌍💚

Staff and Miswives at CUMH pose with cloth nappies with VOICE's Abi

Banner Photo: Midwive Roisin O'Connor poses with Abi outside CUMH