A so-called nappy tax could be introduced to encourage parents to look at alternatives to disposable nappies.
It is one area being discussed by the UK Government as a way to stop products, which cannot be recycled, going to landfill.
Ministers hope the drive, which would apply to England, will force parents to switch to greener alternatives which are better for the planet.
Throwaway plates, cups and cutlery are also items that could be targeted. In Wales, the Welsh Government has committed to creating a zero-waste Wales by 2050, which includes eliminating all single-use plastics.
Read more : Eco-conscious mum saves £1,500 by switching to reusable nappies
Nappies are reportedly the next target on a ministerial hit list in the UK with a Whitehall source involved in the nappy policy telling the Daily Mail: “The next single-use plastic item we are looking at is nappies.
“But you couldn’t ban them – that would be too tough for parents. It would need to take some form of a tax.”
However responding to the story Defra told the Mirror there were “no plans” for a nappy tax.
Three billion nappies are thrown away every year, accounting for around 3% of UK household waste, according to recycling charity Wrap. A baby gets through around 5,000 during infancy – equivalent to 130 large bin bags and all of that gets thrown into landfill.
Justine Roberts, of the parenting forum Mumsnet, warned that reusable nappies were more time-consuming.
“It would be good for parents to have affordable options that are greener,” she added. “Reusable nappies don’t necessarily have to be pricier, but it’s certainly more resource-intensive.
“Ideally, parents do want to make greener choices, but it’s hard when they are busy and finances are stretched and they’re struggling to find a moment for themselves.
“Asking parents, and, frankly, it’s usually mothers, for the commitment needed for reusables is a big ask. No one on Mumsnet doubts the need to take action for the environment, but consumers need viable options.”
But Allison Ogden-Newton of Keep Britain Tidy said: “Disposable nappies are entirely plastic and cannot be recycled. People still aren’t aware of this. We estimate there are a million people trying to recycle disposable nappies and causing huge contamination.
“This is an iceberg of contaminated material going to landfill and we’re losing whole truckloads of recyclable waste. The first thing we need to do is to educate consumers that these products are not recyclable and need to be disposed of in household waste.
“There should be a financial incentive for sustainable alternatives to create this market we need. At the moment, the system we have does no one any good.”
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