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Study into reusable sanitary and incontinence products

Knox City Council will lead a study conducted by seven councils to research and understand how to implement a reusable sanitary and incontinence program to reduce waste to landfill.

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

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