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Maroondah part of collaborative feasibility study into uptake of reusable nappies

Published on 21 November 2022
  • Children and young people
  • Community
  • Environment
  • Waste and recycling
Baby crawling in a nappy

Maroondah was one of 12 Melbourne-based Councils to participate in a nappy feasibility study to research and understand how to implement a best practice reusable nappy program.

With Councils estimating that five to 15 per cent of household landfill bins contain disposable nappies (by weight), the study asked how to best reduce disposable nappy waste to landfill, support parents and carers and increase both first-time and continued use of reusable nappies.

The five-month study included a review of nine Melbourne-based, four Australia-wide and three international reusable nappy programs, and 12 reusable nappy brands – including a triple-bottom line assessment. Social research was also undertaken with 2,282 expectant parents and current parents and carers across Melbourne.

This research found 34 per cent of participants used a combination of reusable and disposable nappies, with 18 per cent using reusable nappies only. With as many as 90 per cent of expectant parents and carers open to assistance to help make the switch to reusables through interventions like workshops, trial kits or advice from a trusted source.

Removing cost as a barrier was not a prominent reason for continued use of reusable nappies amongst current users, and people who were already using reusable nappies were more than twice as likely as those who use disposables to find a rebate appealing.    

The feasibility study is an example of Councils collaborating on important shared sustainability goals to reduce waste to landfill. To support ongoing use and uptake, the study recommends Councils deliver more education and more opportunities for expectant families and the community to experience and connect with reusable nappy programs and products. 

You can read the Reusable Nappy Feasibility Report, including the Executive Summary document for more information on the study.

This project is supported by the Circular Economy Councils Fund and delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government.

About the study

Participating Councils included: Bayside City Council, Boroondara City Council, City of Greater Dandenong. Glen Eira City Council, Knox City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Maroondah City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Monash City Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Stonnington City Council and Yarra Ranges Council.

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