Glasgow firm turns waste plastic into reusable nappies

Totsbots, a Glasgow company that makes reusable nappies, is incorporating recycled plastic bottles into its fabric designs.

reusable nappies

In what’s claimed to be a world-first, Totsbots will replace the virgin polyester yarn on the waterproof outer part of its nappies with recycled polyester from plastic bottles. The inner cloth lining in its nappies – removable for some products – is made from bamboo and is machine washable. According to the firm, an average of two plastic bottles will be saved from landfill for every nappy it produces.

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“We are so excited to be the first reusable nappy company in the world to be doing this,” said Totsbots director Fiona Smyth. “With over eight million nappies going to landfill every day, if even half of parents switched to cloth that would be a whole lot of plastic bottles and nappy waste being diverted from landfill. We really hope this will inspire other companies to follow suit. The technology is here and there is certainly enough plastic waste here so there is no reason why this shouldn’t become the norm.”

Totsbots said the new fabric was specially developed for its nappies and is Oekotex 100 (class 1) certified, meaning there are no harmful chemicals or residues present. The company has already started introducing the new material and hopes to have completely switched by October this year. The new nappies will be identifiable by a small recycled nappy logo showing how many bottles per garment have been diverted from landfill.

“Over the last three years we have seen a marked increase in parents opting for cloth nappies as their preferred choice for their babies,” said Smyth. “Concerns about the environment, chemicals in disposables and guilt about over-consumption are behind this. Modern cloth nappies are not the terry squares and plastic pants of our grandparents’ days. They come in all shapes, colours and sizes and are so much easier to use than people fear. Parents are always amazed at how well they work and how easy they are.”