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Reusable Nappy Program set to help families

Published on 22 February 2023
  • Children and young people
  • Community
  • Waste and recycling

Maroondah City Council is working with 13 Melbourne Councils to develop a targeted education program that will increase the use of reusable nappies and reduce waste to landfill.

The Best Practice Reusable Nappy Program - Implementation, led by Glen Eira City Council, has been awarded $128,000 from Sustainability Victoria, through the Victorian Government’s Circular Economy Councils Fund. It will offer families and expectant parents more support to learn about and use modern reusable options.

Mayor of Maroondah, Councillor Rob Steane, said the program can help families reduce waste to landfill.

“Council is pleased to be working with fellow Councils across Melbourne to develop the new Reusable Nappy Program,” Cr Steane said.

“By sharing information about alternatives to disposable nappies, the program aims to make it easier for families to find sustainable choices that work for them. This, in turn, can help families in Maroondah to reduce their waste to landfill by choosing materials that can be reused.”

Approximately two billion disposable nappies end up in landfill per year in Australia. Each disposable nappy is estimated to take up to 150 years to break down.

Maroondah participated in a collaborative Reusable Nappy Feasibility Study last year 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.

Participating councils

Along with Maroondah City Council, participating municipalities include Bayside City Council, Boroondara City Council, Brimbank City Council, Glen Eira City Council, Knox City Council, Maribyrnong 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.

Further information

Find out more about the Reusable Nappy Feasibility Study conducted in 2022. 

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