British brand tackles plastic problem in the Pacific

Bambino Mio introduces a sustainable local solution for Vanuatu’s nappy ban.

Vanuatu has become the first country in the world to propose a ban on disposable nappies as part of a bold move to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic waste due to the devasting effects caused to the Pacific Island, with 27% of Vanuatu’s waste being single-use disposable nappies.

Reusable nappy experts, Bambino Mio, strongly believe that a product solution to the disposable nappy ban already exists in the form of modern reusable nappies. 

To help introduce this sustainable solution, the brand teamed up with a local social enterprise, Mamma’s Laef Vanuatu, to provide advice, financial support, product education and technical expertise to help facilitate independent production of reusable nappies which Mamma’s Laef Vanuatu could manufacture and distribute independently.

Managing Director at Bambino Mio, Guy Schanschieff commented: “We are incredibly proud to be supporting Mamma’s Laef to help develop locally-led reusable nappy manufacturing. This initiative will not only help the environment and help parents save money, it’s also an opportunity to build a home-grown industry that will create more jobs in Vanuatu.” 

Bambino Mio worked closely with the social enterprise to undertake a pilot scheme to encourage a community trial of the locally made modern reusable nappies to help support the Government’s proposed ban, meet the needs of local communities, reduce plastic pollution, and save families money.

A report that identifies the benefits and any challenges families faced during the pilot scheme has been publicly released this month (February 2021) by Vanuatu Department of Industry’s Director, Jimmy Rantes. 

The report revealed that 96% of families who used modern reusable nappies during the trial really liked them, 95% would recommend the reusable nappies to others and a significant 85% stated they would buy reusable nappies. As well as positive reinforcement for the products themselves, many parents valued the fact that they would save money by transitioning from single-use disposable nappies to reusable nappies that can be washed easily and used repeatedly. 

This is the first time that market research about modern reusable nappies versus single-use disposables has been undertaken in Vanuatu. The results are extremely encouraging and will be used to inform Vanuatu Government policy and the social enterprises’ business development, to meet expected increased demand for reusable nappies following the pilot scheme.

Island nations are hit hard by climate change and plastic pollution and the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu is no exception. The replacement of single-use nappies with Mamma’s Laef reusable nappies in Vanuatu would support 13 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Building on this work in Vanuatu, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) has recently announced a project across all 15 countries in the Pacific to look at alternatives to single-use nappies. Bambino Mio stands ready to assist any government looking to introduce modern reusable nappies into their countries. 

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