Monash Council is one of 14 Melbourne councils working together to develop a targeted education program that will increase the use of reusable nappies and reduce waste to landfill. Lead by Glen Eira City Council, the Resuable Nappy Program will start in 2023.
Approximately two billion disposable nappies end up in landfill per year in Australia, and each disposable nappy is estimated to take up to 150 years to break down.
The Best Practice Reusable Nappy Program – Implementation has been awarded $128,000 from Sustainability Victoria, through the Victorian Government’s Circular Economy Councils Fund.
A collaborative Reusable Nappy Feasibility Study was conducted in 2022 across 12 councils to understand current behaviours and barriers to using reusable nappies. The study recommended a best practice model to support community members with targeted education, easy to understand information and increased opportunities to learn how to make best use of reusable nappies.
More than 2,000 parents and carers participated in the study. Just under half of the participants were disposable nappy users, 18 per cent were reusable nappy users and 34 per cent used a combination of reusable and disposable.
The study highlighted an opportunity to increase reusable nappy uptake with soon-to-be parents. Most parents decide what type of nappy to use before their baby arrives and 90 per cent of expectant families are open to assistance to switch to reusable nappies.
Perceptions of reusable nappies varied greatly between those who have used reusables and those who had not, and the feasibility study recommended education and communications be developed to address the perceived barriers around nappy absorbency, convenience, and time requirements.
The Best Practice Reusable Nappy Program will implement the findings of the study and aims to make it easier for parents and caregivers to use reusable nappies, or a combination of reusable and disposable. The program will deliver a joint communications and education campaign and increased learning opportunities for how to make best use of reusable nappies.
The participating municipalities include Bayside City Council, Boroondara City Council, Brimbank City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Knox City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Maroondah City Council, City of Monash, Moonee Valley City Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Stonnington City Council, City of Yarra, Yarra Ranges Council and Whitehorse City Council.