Reducing waste to landfill, one nappy at a time

Countdown changes nappy range to provide more choice for eco-conscious mums and dads

Parents and caregivers looking for more sustainable nappy options for their babies can now choose from a range of reusable, cloth and compostable nappies at Countdown stores.

With around 145,000 Kiwi babies and toddlers getting their nappies changed an estimated 6000 times in their first two-and-a-half years, nappies make up a significant amount of New Zealand’s domestic waste.  

Countdown’s Kiri Hannifin, General Manager Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, says options to help reduce the amount of waste caused by nappies will be welcome news for parents and caregivers.

“We know that reducing plastic and waste is a key concern for many New Zealanders, and the number of disposable nappies going to landfill or ending up as litter is a key contributor to this.  

Nappies are an essential for families for at least a few years of their children’s lives, so we know having more sustainable choices will be a great addition to our nappy range. Swapping out a disposable nappy for a reusable alternative, even just a few times a week, can have a huge impact on the amount of waste a household generates. 

“Currently of those New Zealanders that use nappies only eight per cent are cloth users but we think that by making more sustainable options more widely available and affordable, this will only continue to grow as these more environmentally conscious choices become a reality for customers,” says Kiri Hannifin.

Countdown’s new range includes reusable cloth nappies by Bambino Mio and Little Genie, as well as Little & Brave compostable nappies in select Auckland stores. These can be returned to one of Little & Brave’s nappy drop off bins for turning into compost at their own composting facility.

Co-founder Semisi Hutchison from Little & Brave says they are delighted with the response so far and are amazed at how in-demand their range is.  

“We are delighted to work with Countdown to offer a genuinely circular nappy option that works in the real world. Kiwis want sustainability, but also want ease-of-use, convenience and effectiveness. We believe our products bring this to the consumer and we are excited to watch them vote with their purchasing dollar. After all, making sustainable change now for our little one's future is one of our founding values."   

Jessica Morrissey from Little Genie says being in Countdown stores across the country is a great chance to reach more Kiwis.

“We're very excited to have teamed up with Countdown to offer customers a more sustainable and forward thinking product like our reusable bamboo charcoal nappy.  It is great to see more sustainable nappy options becoming more accessible across New Zealand so that together, we can make a real change.”

Aaron Wainhouse, New Zealand distributor of Bambino Mio, says Countdown’s decision to stock reusable nappies is a win:win for customer wallets and the environment.

“We know that disposable nappies end up costing about $4,000 per child which is a significant amount of money on a single-use item, especially at a time when you may only have one household income.  

“Then you think about the massive amount of nappies that are used for a few hours and thrown in the bin. If every parent in New Zealand used just one reusable nappy on their baby per day we could prevent one million nappies from going to landfill per week. We encourage parents to give reusables a try.”

“At Countdown we’re focused on reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill as part of our carbon emission reduction efforts - particularly with our new target to be 60 per cent below our 2015 levels by 2030. It makes sense that we also give our customers options to do the same,” says Kiri Hannifin.

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