This research sought to assess the extent to which changing a hospital maternity unit policy would impact on parents’ attitudes and ongoing waste minimisation behaviour. The policy was changed from all parents supplying their own disposable nappies, to supplying parents with cotton nappies during their post-natal stay. This meant that provision would be made for all parents during a post-natal stay to freely use cotton nappies whilst on the ward, rather than bring their own disposable nappies to use for their baby. It was hoped that this change would encourage parents to reduce the amount of waste they produce, which is sent to landfill, by using alternatives to disposable nappies. Four groups of mothers were interviewed over the research period: two groups before the maternity unit policy was changed and two following the new policy implementation. One group from each interview phase was also offered a free trial of using cotton nappies with a laundry service. Mothers were sent a follow-up questionnaire when their baby was six weeks old. Survey instruments were designed based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (Ajzen, 1988; 1991) which takes steps towards understanding that an individual’s behaviour is not simply a direct result of their attitudes. Added to this we were also able to incorporate the role of direct experience in explaining behaviour change by comparing those who had and had not used cotton nappies while staying at the hospital. Eliciting parents’ attitudes towards cotton and disposable nappies, providing experience of cotton nappies on a maternity ward, and offering some parents a free trial of nappy laundering services were strategies employed to encourage parents to choose cotton nappies and evaluate the effectiveness of the maternity unit policy change. It was found that inconsistencies and contradictions were evident in parents’ responses. Results challenge the assumption that people are consistent in their attitudes and followed their primary understandings and beliefs with action. Rather this research highlighted the many anomalies associated with waste minimisation behaviour, through parents’ reasons for choosing a type of nappy and supported previous findings that environmental attitudes do not reflect environmental behaviour (Witherspoon and Martin, 1992; Widegren, 1998; Tarrant and Cordell, 1997). It also often assumed that the type of nappy that parents use depends on recommendations by other parents – an intuitive assumption that was found to be not always the case for all parents. The problem of addressing a collective problem is apparent with the need to make parents understand and take responsibility for their own waste production, including that of their children. It may be concluded that attitude change is an early step to behaviour change and that the anomalies evident in these responses are indications that whilst parents are as yet unwilling to change their behaviour and take full responsibility for their waste production, they are aware of the problems. Awareness is a necessary part of the behaviour change process although it will be key to progress this awareness beyond paying lip-service to many parents using environmentally considerate options.