Australia becomes the first country in the Southern Hemisphere to tackle the increasing problem of disposable nappies in landfill - through the introduction of a revolutionary new recycling technology.
MyPlanet Recycling, Australia's first disposable nappy recycling service, was officially launched in August.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Environment the Hon. John Thwaites M.P, was in attendance for the launch.
Used by approximately 91% of parents, a single disposable nappy can take as long as 500 years to decompose in landfill. Many Australians are concerned about the effect this has on the environment, however up until now there has been little done to reduce this potentially hazardous waste stream.
MyPlanet Recycling Community Relations Manager, Deborah O'Dwyer, said the program is an exciting step towards reducing landfill and creating a truly sustainable future.
"Australian are using 800 million disposable nappies per year, which ends up as 145,000 cubic metres of landfill. That would fill the MCG at least three times over each and every year. MyPlanet Recycling is not only able to reduce those landfill figures, but provides the extra benefit of turning the nappy waste into recycled plastic and paper products."
To ensure the levels of service and efficiency remain high, MyPlanet Recycling is launching across Melbourne in a phased roll-out. The first five council areas to participate in the program are Bayside, Casey, Brimbank, Cardinia and Yarra Ranges however the structured rollout will ensure the service is available across Metropolitan Melbourne. National expansion is likely to follow shortly.
City of Casey Mayor, Rob Wilson is excited to be partnering with MyPlanet Recycling in what he believes is a very significant environmental project for Australia.
"Disposable nappies contribute up to 5000 tones of waste in Casey each year and take up valuable space in landfills. The partnership with MyPlanet Recycling is essential for the City of Casey considering we have the highest number of children under 4 years of age in Victoria."
Utilising patented technology developed by Knowaste LLC, an international leader in recycling technologies, the recycling process uses a safe and hygienic processing system which separates nappies into their raw components.
The plastics from the reclaimed nappies will be sent to Repeat Plastics where they will find new life in a variety of products including park benches, jetting planking, signage and bollards. The fibrous wood pulp will be used by Amcor in the production of numerous white cardboard products.
Australia's favorite leading lady and mother of three Marina Prior, is lending her support to what she believes is a fantastic environmental innovation.
"Looking after the environment is something I'm very passionate about and when I realized that between just my three children alone I'd be putting over 15,000 disposable nappies into landfill, I was delighted by the solution MyPlanet Recycling offered."
To sign up for the program log onto MyPlanet Recycling at www.myplanet.com.au or call 03 9790 3434. The service costs $7.60 per fortnightly pickup with a once off administration fee of $34.50.