Moonee Valley City Council has joined 11 other Councils in working together to research and understand how to implement a best practice reusable nappy program to reduce waste to landfill.
The Best Practice Reusable Nappy Program – Feasibility Study, led by Monash Council, has been awarded up to $80,000 from Sustainability Victoria, through the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Councils Fund.
Nappies are a major waste issue, contributing up to fifteen per cent of waste in household bins.
About two billion disposable nappies end up in landfill per year in Australia and it can take up to 500 years for nappies to break down.
The feasibility study will work with parents to understand barriers they face to using reusable nappies. The study will review current and past council waste reduction programs to understand how to reach target audiences, meet parents’ needs, and measure the effectiveness of waste reduction.
The collaborative campaign between councils hopes to understand and break down barriers to using reusable nappies and allows for the sharing of costs and resources, increasing the likelihood of an ongoing reusable program.
Moonee Valley Deputy Mayor Katrina Hodgson said “Whether you are a new parent, or have been changing nappies for a while already, it can be intimidating to think about making the switch to reusable nappies. That might be because of the cost, the logistics, or just the ‘gross’ factor! We made the switch when our son was about 3 months old and it really wasn’t as scary as we thought.
“Moonee Valley is a city dedicated to rethinking waste and how we manage products across their whole life cycle. This collaboration with 11 other Councils means that we can work with our residents to solve one of the more persistent waste challenges for families, not just in Moonee Valley but across Melbourne.
“Working together means that the study will be able to engage a large number of parents from all walks of life, share our data and arrive at solutions that can be implemented by any Council in Victoria.”
The participating local governments include Bayside City Council, Boroondara City Council, Glen Eira City Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Knox City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Maroondah City Council, City of Monash, Moonee Valley City Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Stonnington City Council and Yarra Ranges Council.
Deputy Mayor Hodgson said “Researchers will be able to sit down with parents from across our diverse community and talk about what might be stopping them from making the switch to reusable nappies, and how councils might be able to support them to remove those barriers. We want to know how we – as policy makers and community members – can help each other reduce the amount of disposable nappies going to landfill, and encourage using reusable and recyclable nappies.”
The study will recommend a best practice model to achieve waste reduction, assist and support parents, to increase the circular economy and to create the basis for behaviour change across Victoria.
Deputy Mayor Hodgson said “We are really excited to explore this issue and its solutions with our partner Councils, and look forward to taking even more action based on the study’s recommendations, to achieve our vision of a city that rethinks waste.”