PLASTICS CAMPAIGN: Why Lancaster mum uses cloth nappies instead of disposables

Jen Ruddock with her son Henry.
Jen Ruddock with her son Henry.
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A mum hopes to encourage parents to use cloth nappies for their babies in a bid to tackle plastic pollution.

Jen Ruddock, from Lancaster, uses cloth nappies for her 18-month-old son Henry and has not looked back since.

Jen Ruddock's son, Henry in his cloth nappy.

Jen Ruddock's son, Henry in his cloth nappy.

The mum, who is also expecting another baby, hopes other parents will follow suit and wants to highlight the positives of using the cloth alternatives.

“Nappies can take up to 500 years to decompose,” said Jen.

“I’m always trying to convince other mums and dads to switch to cloth nappies, they’re cheaper than using disposables, really easy to look after and you’ll never run out.”

Jen began to research environmental issues surrounding nappies before her son Henry was born.

According to Veolia around eight million disposable nappies are thrown away each day in the UK, which accounts for about three percent of our household waste.

When Henry was a newborn Jen struggled to find a cloth nappy to fit so for a while she used disposables.

“We used disposables until I found a style that worked,” said Jen, 30.

“The disposable nappies I was in when I was a baby are going to be still in the ground, and I don’t want to contribute to that. We have got enough plastic rubbish, just think of how many nappies are being used, it all adds up.”

Jen uses cloth nappy brand Tots Bots, who produce various wrap-around styles with absorbent pads and poppers.

“Henry has been fine with them,” said Jen.

“I am surprised that disposables are still out there, but I think some of the companies are trying to address the issue.

“Some companies say that the nappies are recyclable but it may just mean the packaging or the lining, it’s never really the whole nappy.

“I feel like there is not enough pressure, we are just hearing about plastic bottles or coffee cups, there is a huge amount of nappies out there.”

There are a number of cloth nappy brands available as alternative to disposable nappies.

Reusable wipes are also available which are made from a mixture of cotton and bamboo (similar to cloth nappies), and are kept in water.

Jen stresses she is not trying to tell parents what they definitely should do.

She said: “At the end of the day it is your baby and your choice but just try cloth nappies once and see how you find it.”