A GROUP of Torfaen childminders are showing it's not just children they care for - but the environment too, as they have started using reusable nappies and wipes to reduce the amount of single-use plastic they use.

Tracey Touhig, Theresa Harding and Michelle Brown have been using the reusable products since July, and have spoken to a number of parents about trying them out at home too.

“Over the years we have realised that between us we have used thousands of single-use wipes, and single-use nappies, and, having seen the volume we produce, we decided it’s time to change," said Ms Touhig.

“The main reason for the switch is environmental - disposable nappies and wipes are a massive source of single-use plastic. Using just one reusable nappy every day of our working week will save more than 250 disposable nappies from reaching landfill every year. Multiply that by several children, or increase it to two or more reusable nappies a day, and you are already into the thousands.

"That’s a lot of single-use plastic being saved from landfill or incineration. Then add in using reusable wipes and the amount of waste reduced is greater.”


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The childminders have also changed some of their other practices to try and reduce the amount of plastic waste they produce, including having milk delivered in reused glass bottles, and collecting and recycling felt tip pens, which they drop off to Pontypool Indoor Market to be recycled.

They are also collecting crisp packets, which are donated to a local group who are collecting them for the blind.

Ms Browne said: "It’s extremely rewarding to think that just by changing the small things, we can make a difference to the amount of plastic waste being produced, and in the process we are protecting the future for our children as well.

"Small changes can lead to significant environmental benefits and less waste being produced.”

Cllr Fiona Cross, Torfaen Council's executive member for the environment, said: “I’d like to congratulate the three childminders for taking a chance and giving reusable nappies and wipes a go. They are an excellent example of how small changes can make such a significant difference to the environment.

“The waste team are here to support anyone who has been thinking about trialling or switching to using reusable nappies and wipes – just get in touch.”

To find out more about reusable nappies and wipes call 01495 762200 or email waste@torfaen.gov.uk