sanitary and incontinence reusable products

Seven metropolitan Councils in Melbourne are collaborating to undertake a feasibility study, investigating the potential to reduce waste to landfill through the implementation of a reusable sanitary and incontinence program.

After food waste, disposable nappies and sanitary and incontinence products going to landfill is becoming one of the most significant waste issues, comprising between 5-15 per cent of waste in household bins. 

Approximately 660 million disposable sanitary and incontinence products end up in landfill per year in Australia, and it can take up to 800 years for the plastic products to break down.

The other participating municipalities are Whitehorse City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Maroondah City Council, Stonnington City Council and Yarra Ranges Council.

Led by Knox City Council, the feasibility study will engage with people who use sanitary products and incontinence aids to understand current barriers to using reusable products and will benchmark existing programs from other councils to reach target audiences, meet user needs, and evaluate the effectiveness of programs to reduce waste and change behaviour.

The collaborative project between councils hopes to understand and break down the barriers reducing the use of  reusable products in different age and health demographics, and allows for the sharing of costs and resources – increasing the likelihood of an ongoing reusable program.

It will recommend a best practice model to achieve waste reduction and assist and support people who use sanitary products or incontinence aids, to increase the circular economy and to create the basis for behaviour change across Victoria.

The study has been awarded $80,000 from Sustainability Victoria, through the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Councils Fund.

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