Homerton Hospital nursery champions real nappies in Hackney

Roundabout Nursery at Homerton Hospital last month (Wednesday, 18 February) celebrated becoming the first nursery, and one of three across Hackney, to use cloth nappies for their babies and toddlers.

Every day eight million disposable nappies are thrown away in the UK, accounting for around three per cent of the UK’s waste - around the weight of 70,000 double decker buses every year.

Hackney Council’s Recycling Team has been working with environmental charity Groundwork East London to encourage nurseries across the borough to switch from disposable to real nappies in order to save money and reduce waste.

Cllr Alan Laing, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “The benefits of using real cloth nappies are huge, not only in terms of reducing the environmental impact, but also with the financial savings that can be made.”

The Roundabout Nursery, for the children of staff at Homerton Hospital, began using cloth nappies in their Baby Room at the beginning of February 2008. The trial was so successful it was extended to their Toddler Room, for 14 months to 2 year olds. They now plan to continue using the cloth nappies in the Family Room, where the 2 year olds begin toilet training.

The nursery will be saving £120 each month or £1,440 a year on disposable nappies. They will also save 2,565 disposables nappies in 3 months or 10,260 disposable nappies in 12 months, around 2.6 tonnes, from entering the general waste stream.

Nursery Services Manager, Margaret Bingham-Crisp, said: “The change over to real nappies has been simple and successful for us, with happy babies, parents and staff. I’ll be visiting other nurseries to explain the virtues and simplicity of using cloth nappies.”

Nursery managers are also invited to visit the Roundabout Nursery to see for their selves just how simple, safe, cost saving and environmentally friendly real nappies are.

Sam Alexander, Senior Community Projects Coordinator at Groundwork East London, said: “Groundwork’s involvement in the Every Nappy Counts project has been very rewarding and we know that supporting nurseries and parents to make the change to real nappies can have a significant and positive impact on the environment.”

If you want to convert your nursery to real nappies for FREE then contact Imogen at Groundwork East London on 020 8985 1755 or

To find out more about real nappies and recycling in Hackney call 020 8356 6688, email: or visit the Council’s website: