Govt denies parents face tax on disposable nappies in fight against single-use plastic

31 August 2021, 09:56 | Updated: 31 August 2021, 13:45

Parents could face a tax on nappies in a battle against single-use plastic.
Parents could face a tax on nappies in a battle against single-use plastic. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The Government has denied it will tax disposable nappies to encourage the use of more eco-friendly alternatives.

It followed reports that a move was being considered, in a bid to stop products which cannot be recycled from going to landfill.

A Whitehall source told the Daily Mail: "The next single-use plastic item we are looking at is nappies.

"But you couldn't ban them – that would be too tough for parents. It would need to take some form of a tax."

Switching to more environmentally friendly alternatives - such as cloth nappies that can be reused or biodegradable ones - would mean a huge cut in single-use plastics, especially as around three billion nappies are thrown away every year, according to recycling charity Wrap.

But on Tuesday, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We will not be putting a tax on nappies. That story is untrue.

"We have a strong track record on tackling pollution and we believe the best way to do that is to ensure that we have policies that are proportionate and encourage people to make change.

"And we will continue to introduce policies that we believe strike that correct balance."

Read more: Plastic plates, cutlery and polystyrene cups could be banned in England

Read more: Plymouth MP to step back as shadow environment sec after shootings

George Eustice explains the extension of plastic bag charges

Keep Britain Tidy’s chief executive, Allison Ogden-Newton, said in a previous campaign that the incorrect disposal of nappies was causing an "environmental disaster".

"Truckload after truckload of carefully separated and collected recycling is being rejected because so many people don’t know that they cannot recycle nappies and contaminate their recycling by sticking them in there," she said.

"Not only is this costing our local authorities hundreds of thousands of pounds a year, it is an environmental disaster."

However, the reported move to increase tax was not welcomed by all parents, as has been made clear on Mumsnet.

The site's founder, Justine Roberts, said there needed to be more "viable options".

"Ideally, parents do want to make greener choices but it’s hard when they are busy and finances are stretched and they’re struggling to find a moment for themselves," she argued.

"No one on Mumsnet doubts the need to take action for the environment, but consumers need viable options."

It comes amid warnings that plastic cutlery and polystyrene cups could be next to go, in order to further cut sources of environmentally damaging waste.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A picture of Alexei Navalny next to flowers in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin

Body of Russian opposition leader Navalny handed over to his mother, aide says

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

French President Emmanuel Macron at the agriculture fair

Macron booed by French farmers as he visits Paris agricultural fair

Volodymyr Zelensky

Western leaders arrive in Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Lee Anderson has been suspended for his comments about Sadiq Khan

Lee Anderson suspended from Conservative Party after claiming 'Islamists have control of Sadiq Khan'

Wet weather is expected on Sunday and Monday

Fears of travel chaos on Sunday and Monday amid heavy rain, as yellow weather warning issued

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have not been seen since Monday

Police in desperate riverbed hunt for missing TV presenter and boyfriend, as cop ex-lover accused of murder

Yulia Navalnaya

Navalny widow accuses Putin of mocking Christianity for refusing to return body

Charles has shared a message of support for Ukraine

King Charles hails 'heroism' of Ukrainians as world leaders mark second anniversary of Russian invasion in Kyiv

Junior doctors have gone on strike again

Junior doctors walk out for five-day strike amid long-standing pay row, in latest round of NHS industrial action

Sarah Oliver was killed in the collision

Woman killed by driver who sped through red light while on her phone, as she is jailed for nine years

Spain Building Fire

10th body found in charred remnants of Valencia apartment building

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian president accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza

Hamilton Palace is said to be abandoned

Crumbling Sussex mansion abandoned by millionaire developer 'is UK's biggest slum' and is 'magnet for drug abuse'

Grant Shapps has vowed that Britain will back Ukraine 'to the end'

'We will be there to the end': Shapps vows UK will back Ukraine until war is over, as Britain gives £245m military aid

Exclusive
LBC spoke to a mother and daughter from the war-torn city of Mariupol

Ukrainian refugees accuse Home Office of becoming ‘tired of Ukraine’ after altering resettlement schemes