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Nappies

Volume 455: debated on Friday 26 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the quality of the data used in the Environment Agency’s Life Cycle Assessment of Reusable and Disposable Nappies in the UK; and when a revised version of the Assessment will be published. (110913)

The Environment Agency’s (EA) 2005 “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of Disposable and Reusable Nappies in the UK” was critically reviewed by an external expert appointed by the EA prior to its publication.

The Critical Review concluded that methods used to carry out the LCA were consistent with the International Standard and that data used were, in general, appropriate and reasonable in relation to the goal of the study.

The published report reflects the revisions recommended by the critical review process. The Review and practitioner’s responses are included as Annex C in the published report.

However, the LCA did make recommendations for further work, which would reflect changes in the main type of re-usable nappy used and how ‘good practice’ in the way re-usable nappies are used would affect the conclusions. This further work is due to be published in the spring.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the tonnage of disposable nappies sent to landfill sites in the last year for which figures are available. (110914)

We do not collect information on the amount of disposable nappies used or their disposal route.

However, the Environment Agency’s “Life Cycle Assessment of Disposable and Reusable Nappies in the UK” report, published in 2005, estimated that 2 to 3 per cent. of household waste is made up of disposable nappies. This equates to approximately 400,000 tonnes of waste each year. In 2005-06, 62 per cent. (approximately 17.9 million tonnes) of municipal waste was sent to landfill.