There is not much that is interesting about a bin, but for one in ten Australian men, the presence of disposal bins for incontinence products in public toilets can have a profound impact on their lives.
BINS4Blokes is an initiative of the Continence Foundation of Australia to get incontinence product disposal bins – like female sanitary units – installed in every male and all-gender public toilets Australia wide. This campaign is about access, equity, and inclusion for all, to meet the most basic of human needs, and importantly, improve male mental health and social inclusion.
There is a common perception that incontinence rarely affects men and, when it does, it is considered to be a normal consequence of ageing. However, this is not the case. At least 1.34 million Australian boys and men are living with bladder and bowel incontinence, and more than one third of them are under the age of fifty.
Without options to hygienically dispose of incontinence products, boy’s and men’s quality of life can be severely impacted. An Australian study reveals that 50% of men with incontinence avoid situations where they cannot readily access a toilet, 57% intentionally kept incontinence hidden from those close to them, and 28% avoid socialising altogether, except with close friends or family.
Incontinence has a real and detrimental impact on boy’s and men’s mental health and is associated with poorer satisfaction and enjoyment of life.
The BINS4Blokes campaign has had over 600 pledges of support from the community and 31 organisations have installed incontinence product disposal bins in their toilet facilities, over the last twelve months. Whilst this is a wonderful start, males with incontinence need more support.
Incontinence product disposal bins are needed everywhere, in sports stadiums, shopping centres, tourist sites, community centres, cinemas, parks and much more. We need everyone to help us spread the word and ask the places they visit to install incontinence product disposal bins in as many public toilets as possible.
The BINS4Blokes campaign provides a simple and practical solution that increases the awareness of the need for inclusive
and equitable spaces so that boys and men with incontinence can live their lives freely, exercise, shop and simply enjoy life and inclusion in social and community activities.