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Cost and eco benefits of reusable products on show at Somerset libraries

SWITCHING to reusable products could save money – and help the environment.

That will be the message at a series of events promoting care products being held at Somerset libraries next month.

A series of free drop-in events will be held in February for anyone interested in reusable period products, nappies or adult continence items.

The ‘Waste Not Somerset’ sessions are being run by Somerset Council in partnership with Suez Recycling and Recovery UK and Moonie, a company that produces eco-friendly products.

The following libraries will host the events from 10am to 2pm:
Thursday, February 8: Bridgwater Library
Tuesday, February 13: Yeovil Library
Wednesday, February 14: Taunton Library
Thursday, February 15: Minehead Library
Saturday, February 17: Glastonbury Library

Absorbent hygiene products, including single-use continence and period products make up about 2.5% of Somerset’s rubbish bins – and nappies make up a further 11%.

In the UK, 200,000 tonnes of menstrual products are disposed of every year.

Last year in Somerset, 1947 tonnes of absorbent hygiene products were thrown into the rubbish.

Swapping to reusable period products reduces waste and could save someone up to £5,000 on period products in their lifetime.

The popularity of reusable personal care items is rising, with a vast array of items on the market, which may feel daunting when considering making the switch.

At each event, examples of different types of reusable period products, nappies and continence items will be available for people to take a closer look.

There will also be some useful take home resources available as well as colleagues from Somerset Council, SUEZ UK and Moonie.

Cllr Dixie Darch, executive lead member for climate and environment at the council, said: “It’s important that residents know the options available when it comes to choosing reusable products.

“This initiative means that people have the opportunity to ask questions and take a look at different products without the pressure of having to buy.

“We want to make it simple for residents to reduce waste and save money. Choosing to reuse is often cheaper and more environmentally friendly.”

Kia Brooker, co-founder of Moonie, said: “Moonie is dedicated to creating a positive impact, and this collaboration exemplifies our commitment to fostering change and supporting individuals in their menstrual health journey.

“Through this initiative we are excited to contribute to the eradication of period poverty.”

Lily Morton, senior community liaison manager at SUEZ UK, said: “We are really pleased to be launching this pilot project in partnership with Somerset Council and Moonie. This is a great use of the SW:EEP fund, investing back into the community to influence residents behaviour around reuse and promoting the benefits of switching to reusable personal hygiene products.

“One of our strategic goals is to use less and reuse more and our purpose of building a sustainable future that doesn’t cost the earth, this pilot aligns with many of our core values.

“We encourage all residents with an interest in reuse to come and see us at one of the events in your local library.”

More information on reusable personal care products can be found on Somerset Council’s website at www.somerset.gov.uk/waste.

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