St Albans eco-nappy company founder urges government to change stance on compostables

Jennie Potts from Mama Bamboo, with Jon Wallis of Made of Waste and Mama Bamboo founder Laura Crawford at Parliament.

Jennie Potts from Mama Bamboo, with Jon Wallis of Made of Waste and Mama Bamboo founder Laura Crawford at Parliament. - Credit: Mama Bamboo

The founder of a St Albans-based eco-disposable nappy company has taken her fight against plastic-based nappy waste to the House of Lords.

Laura Crawford from Mama Bamboo is calling on the Government to legislate and invest in compostable and biodegradable materials to help tackle climate change.

She spoke about the work that needs to be done post COP26 to improve recycling facilities and carbon emissions generated by plastic based products.

Laura said: “In the UK, three billion nappies and 11 billion wet wipes are used and discarded every year. Over 90% of them are made using fossil-fuel based plastic. We strongly believe the government must reconsider its stance on bioplastics and create taxes and incentives to guide consumers towards these products which are less damaging to the environment and our carbon impact than continued use of fossil fuels.

"The Plastic Packaging Tax will only penalise those using compostable materials from trying to do the right thing.  Recognising the positive impact of bio-based materials in tax and incentives schemes will help individual businesses like ours to achieve economies of scale and make eco products comparatively affordable.

“Our next big goal is to establish a fully circular model for our Mama Bamboo products and other bioplastics. It’s not a new idea. Compostable materials have been trialled and tested for wipes and nappies for over 20 years. The technology already exists and it’s in active use elsewhere. Collection and processing has been trialled and proven effective in Canada, the US, Germany and New Zealand.”

Laura added: “Currently councils force consumers to put used bioplastics into the general waste stream. Over six per cent of all black bin waste is still made up of nappies and wipes and yet 10 per cent of that could be composted today. And with the right legislation on product manufacturer, it could all be composted in future.

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“The real issue facing us today is not one of manufacturers’ willingness, innovation or technology. The issue is not consumer behaviours either. The issue we face is one of funding and legislation.  We need the Government to step up and bring about change sooner rather than later.”