GECCO is a registered charity, established to promote sustainability in Early Years childcare and education. GECCO’s Real Nappy campaign aims to promote reusable, washable nappies to reduce plastic pollution. GECCO is going to do this by providing information and support, and cloth nappies to staff working in day nurseries, enabling them to support parents to make the change.
Chairman of the GECCO Board, Cheryl Hadland, is passionate about a cultural change towards sustainability, through those responsible for the education of our youngest citizens. She is also Founder and CEO of Tops Day Nurseries (group of 30 day nurseries in the South and South West of the UK as of May 2019) and of Aspire Training Team – described as a world class training organisation by DfE in the training of Early Years personnel.
Cheryl explains, “There needs to be a behavioural change away from plastic, disposable single-use nappies, towards reusable nappies. Every child has about 6500 nappy changes, generating 1 tonne of plastic waste each. Damage is caused by nappies disintegrating into the environment, forming microplastics which can maim and kill fish, mammals and birds, and filter into the food chain for humans.
Every householder in the UK has about 3% of their domestic rates bill spent on getting rid of single use nappies. This is whether you have a baby in nappies or not. It costs around three times the cost of a disposable nappy to get rid of it and unfortunately most go to landfill. Using just one reusable nappy a day for 3 months will stop around 90 single use nappies being thrown away.”
GECCO’s Real Nappy campaign has been supported by funds raised by leading whisky auctioneer Whisky.Auction, in partnership with retailer The Whisky Exchange, who hosted an auction of one-off bottles of whisky and rare spirits in November 2018, to raise funds for sustainable ventures and charities battling plastic pollution around the world.
A generous donation of £5,000 has been used to launch the campaign and buy real nappies, which are reusable and washable, and replace plastic disposable nappies.
GECCO, in partnership with Tops Day Nurseries, is giving a pack of reusable nappies to early years professionals with babies and toddler in nappies, so that they can support local parents to use the same, as well as leading by example.
Every Tops Day Nursery across the South of England has a hamper of reusable nappies to loan out to parents to try for free and will be encouraging parents to move to reusable nappies, at least while children are at nursery.
GECCO will also be supporting other day nurseries around the country to support parents to use reusable nappies and is looking for donations of nappies and funds to buy nappies in order to spread the word as quickly as possible – and to help save the planet from plastic waste.
Reusable nappies can be made of bamboo and hemp rather than cotton or microfiber, they are soft and comfortable, don’t cause nappy rash if rinsed normally, are easy to fit with velcro, poppers or clips (no safety pins) and are easy to wash. They are the responsible, sustainable way to parent, and even the new baby son of Prince Harry and Meghan will be wearing reusable nappies.