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No nappy nightmare for Morley

By John McKenna

A green group has insisted Elliot Morleys role of Environment Minister does not conflict with his duties as MP for North Lincolnshire.

The Huggies UK factory, which makes disposable nappies, employs over 500 of Elliot Morleys constituents, but £2.6 million of Government money has funded the promotion of reusable nappies.

In support of the Environment Minister, Womens Environmental Network nappy project coordinator Elizabeth Hartigan said: Elliot Morley can promote increased use of cloth nappies through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Waste Implementation Programme confident that he is supporting the growth of local, family-friendly jobs.

Earlier in the year, multinational firm Kimberly-Clark, which owns the Huggies brand, met with the Environment Minister.

It was concerned that any involvement Morley had with the Waste and Resources Action Programmes Real Nappy programme wasnt appropriate because Huggies provided employment in his constituency.

However, Hartigan said: The promotion of green products does not threaten jobs. In fact there is evidence that, contrary to popular belief, alternatives to heavy natural resource use offer substantial employment opportunities. The growth of the real-nappy industry creates sustainable local employment in laundries, as well as manufacturers, distributors and retailers.

This proposal was dismissed by the organisation that represents disposable nappy manufacturers.

Absorbent Hygiene Products Manufacturers Association deputy director general Tracey Stewart said: I do think that given the tens of thousands of individuals employed by the disposable nappy industry, it is unrealistic to say that the job creation from cloth nappies could be as great.

Stewart added that she was looking forward to the Environment Agencys life cycle analysis of nappies, due to be published before Christmas, as she expected it to find no environmental priority in reusable nappies.

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