Less waste, lower costs: there are many advantages to washable diapers, according to the municipality of Alkmaar. Yet young parents still often opt for disposable diapers. You can easily take it out of the bag and when the diaper comes off, it can simply be put in the big pile. Alkmaar wants to encourage parents to take a different tack with a washable variant: “It’s really an introduction.”
By offering families free diaper packages, the municipality hopes to reduce the waste mountain in Alkmaar. “Disposable diapers create a lot of waste that can be avoided by washing cloth diapers. That makes a difference,” says sustainability councilor Christian Schouten to media partner Alkmaar Central.
The intention is for forty families to participate in the Alkmaar ‘diaper program’. There have already been 35 registrations from families who are exchanging disposable diapers for different variants of washable diapers, so that they can discover for themselves what works best.
According to the councilor, the initiative has received many positive reactions. “It’s all in the mindset: making people enthusiastic.” This is a success, as evidenced by the high number of registrations, but not everyone is convinced. “I also hear: now make a difference. To that I say: if you do nothing, nothing will happen. It’s also about the small steps. So in this case literally: pay attention to the little ones. .”
The diaper project involves collaboration with Caroline Beelen, the expert in North Holland when it comes to washable diapers. For example, Beelen was still involved in 2021 record attempt ‘changing washable diapers’.
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Beelen predicts a high success rate for this project: “In comparable projects in other municipalities, we see that 85 percent of families continue with washable diapers. This is also due to the guidance that is available.” Because when in doubt, there is explanation and help, also in Alkmaar. During the project, there is a meeting halfway through to ‘adjust any problems’.
But the municipality is concerned with more than just sustainability. Cloth diapers are also cheaper in the long run. “With washable diapers, parents save an average of 500 euros per child.” The project starts on October 11. You can still register via local authority.