Reusable Sanitary and Incontinence Products Feasibility Study

Reusable sanitary products.png

A joint study involving Maribyrnong City Council, City of Stonnington, Whitehorse City Council, Hume City Council, Maroondah City Council, Knox City Council and Yarra Ranges Shire Council was conducted earlier this year to better understand attitudes toward reusable menstrual and continence products. The aim was to ultimately reduce the volume of single-use products going into landfill.

Findings from the study helped us to better understand our community’s thoughts on reusable menstrual and continence products and consider ways to help increase usage of these products in Maribyrnong.

The community was engaged via surveys, workshops and telephone interviews (with current and past product users of reusable products or potential users and also service providers).

The surveys received a total of 1,363 respondents, 15 respondents attended workshops and seven people participated in the telephone survey.

More than two thirds of the survey respondents currently used reusable products, mainly period and leak-proof underwear. There were notably few respondents from the City of Maribyrnong, CALD community members and service providers.

The key reasons given for choosing reusable products were:

  • Perception the products were environmentally-friendly
  • Social responsibility to address climate change
  • Cost effective in the long term
  • Products worked well 
  • More comfortable

Disadvantages highlighted were that the products were ineffective, unhygienic and uncomfortable.

Other barriers identified were:

  • Initial high cost of purchase
  • Lack of information about reusable products
  • Challenges for changing, washing and storage when in public

Recommendations from the study

There was positive support from respondents to Council involvement to help facilitate the increased use of reusable products over of single use products.

Councils were encouraged to combine efforts to provide more information about the range of products available and their benefits, and advocate for the reduction of single use products going to landfill.

It was recommended to target young people starting menstruation and people experiencing mild or intermittent incontinence.

Finding ways to better reach members of our CALD community, people living with disability and gender diverse people with information about these options was also recommended.

This research was supported by Sustainability Victoria, funded by the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria Councils Fund.



Privacy Policy

Maribyrnong City Council (Council) is committed to protecting the personal information provided by you in accordance with the principles of the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) (PDP Act). Personal information is collected by Council only for the purpose of its functions set out in the Local Government Act 2020 (Vic). Specifically, personal information is collected to contact you and improve our services. Personal information will be used solely by Council for that primary purpose or directly related purposes. If this personal information is not collected, Council will be unable to contact you. We use Zoho to collect and analyse survey data responses. The information collected in these surveys is transmitted and stored securely in Australia and is accessed by us under Zoho's Terms of Service. You can access Zoho's Terms of Service here You may decline to provide this information by not responding to this survey. If you provide a survey answer, you consent to the storage of your survey answer by Zoho and its use by us as well as Bayside City Council, Boroondara City Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Glen Eira City Council, City of Monash, Knox City Council, Maribyrnong City Council, Maroondah City Council, Moonee Valley City Council, Nillumbik Shire Council, Stonnington City Council and Yarra Ranges Council. You can access Zoho's Privacy Policy here and each of the privacy policies of each of the previously mentioned Councils on their respective websites. In certain circumstances, we may disclose personal information where permitted or authorised under the PDP Act or other applicable law.