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Unflushables and single-use plastics

Questions to the Mayor of London – answered on 17th October 2019.

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Photo of Caroline Russell Caroline Russell Green

What have you done to encourage boroughs to increase their uptake rates for reusable nappy schemes since the publication of the London Assembly Environment Committee report, Unflushables, in August 2018?

Photo of Sadiq Khan Sadiq Khan Mayor of London

London produces too much waste and our recycling rates need to increase significantly. To tackle this we need to focus on cutting the main sources of waste as well as focusing on increasing recycling rates of the main waste streams. That’s why I have set a target to reduce food waste by 50 per cent per person by 2030, as well as a requirement for waste authorities to deliver a minimum level of service for household recycling by 2020, including collections of the six main dry materials from all properties and separate weekly food waste from kerbside properties. Nappies make up a smaller proportion of household waste than dry recyclables or food waste.

However, I am working with all London boroughs to promote waste reduction as part of my London Environment Strategy. As part of this, boroughs are required to submit a Reduction and Recycling Plan (RRP) by 2020. These will demonstrate how boroughs will reduce waste and make an effective contribution to my London-wide recycling targets. Actions that reduce the use of disposable products, including nappies, are encouraged where satisfactory alternatives are available.

I have received 20 RRPs to date, with the remaining 13 scheduled to be submitted before the end of the year. A number of the RRPs received to date have described how boroughs are promoting reusable nappies and my officers are supporting this approach.

LWARB’s Advance London project has six businesses in its cohort that aim to address the nappies, wipes and sanitary products waste streams, such as Nappy Zap and Gcycle. This project provides business support and advice to these businesses to aid their impact in the marketplace.

I would encourage any reusable nappies SMEs looking for business support to apply to Advance London via

Please see my response to Mayor's Question 2019/12017.