Banyule reusable nappy launched

Published on 09 September 2021

Limited edition Banyule reusable nappy

In an Australian first, Banyule Council is enticing local parents to reduce landfill and save families money by offering a locally-themed premium reusable cloth nappy

Council worked with Banyule business Designer Bums to create a custom-illustrated piece of artwork for the exclusive limited edition “Banyule Nappy”, showcasing familiar Banyule landmarks and its colourful flora and fauna to celebrate the beauty of the local area.

Designer Bums owner Carla Schwef said she was proud of her local Council and excited to work with them to tackle the problem of disposable nappies and highlight alternatives to an avoidable waste issue.

“The attitude to disposable nappies is beginning to change. The number of parents and carers using cloth is growing considerably year on year,” Carla said.

Disposable nappies are a massive issue for any Council trying to achieve zero waste to landfill. The typical Australian child will use approximately 6,000 disposable nappies - a pile as large as two family cars. For families the financial cost of disposable nappies is $3,200 per child compared to $800 for a set of 28 modern cloth nappies which can outlast several children.

Convincing parents and carers to reconsider their preconceived notion of cloth nappies was a challenge that Carla Schwef and Elana from Cloth Nappy Workshops Melbourne in partnership with Banyule Council set out to achieve.

Elana ran her first nappy education course in Banyule in 2017 and now offers this course in person or virtually. The course explains what the various cloth nappy options are and how to successfully make the transition to cloth. Attendees receive two reusable nappies upon completion of the course.

“People leave the course amazed at the options available – they really had no idea what a modern cloth nappy is, and that going cloth it isn’t as hard as they thought. I constantly get thanks from parents and carers months later that couldn’t be happier after giving it a go,” Elana said.

Attendees to that first course included Banyule Councillor Peter Castaldo who was two children in nappies.  Cr Castaldo said the course opened his eyes to what modern cloth nappies actually were.

“I remember the big old white towel cloth nappies and safety pins - those nappies are long gone. Modern cloth nappies look stylish - there’s no rubbish, and only a small amount of effort needed,” Cr Castaldo said.

“We have used reusable nappies with our first child and then used the same ones for our second child. Our family has saved thousands of dollars and avoided sending a lot of waste landfill, and it wasn’t hard to do,” Cr Castaldo said.

Banyule Council Waste Management Coordinator Andrew Croft said the initiative had great take up among the community and was helping people see the benefits of reusable nappies.

“Disposable nappies make up 15% of Banyule’s waste. We want to change that so our workshops provide practical knowledge and two cloth nappies for people to try.” Andrew said. “Every family switching to reusable nappies gets us a step closer to our goal of achieving zero waste to landfill by 2030.”

Limited edition 'Banyule Nappy' offer 

Receive two reusable nappies, valued at $70, including one limited-edition Banyule nappy. Maximum 2 nappies per household. Workshop cost: $20 per person. 

Book a workshop

Key statistics on nappy waste

  • 15% of waste in Banyule rubbish bins are nappies
  • Nappies represent 0.943kg per household per week
  • 45 tonnes per week or 2,340 tonnes per annum are nappies
  • Cost of disposal to landfill: approximately $380,000 per annum (excl. collection costs)

Source: Figures based on Banyule bin audit November 2015.



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