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Community, Environment

Getting Dirty to Fight Dirty: The Unlikely Use of Dish Sponges As Garden Beds To Grow New Life

Koh 3 mins read
End of life dish sponges being planted into the community garden bed

What do dish sponges and garden beds have in common? Normally not a lot, but in this instance, bringing new life. Koh, Australia's leading eco-certified cleaning brand, has partnered with Community Gardens Australia to repurpose its biodegradable Dish Sponges into garden beds and encourage Australians to explore their green thumb and get creative in their gardens.

Earlier this year, Koh discovered its excess Dish Sponge stock - consisting of wood pulp and none of the chemical treatments usually found in traditional sponges - were nearing the end of its shelf life due to its compostable nature. With a core focus on reducing clutter and wasteful practices, Koh sought innovative solutions to avoid sending these sponges to landfills. 

Teaming up with Regenerative Designer and Horticulturalist Benoit Luc, Koh discovered a way to repurpose the sponges as moisture-rich "water banks" in wicking beds for a partnership at the Randwick site of Community Gardens Australia. The sponges retain water and nourish plants through capillary action. In the garden, a clear panel allows visitors to witness the sponges in action and their natural decomposition into the soil.

Koh and Benoit ensured the project was scalable to fit sponges into everything, from a small pot to a large garden bed for the average Australian to create their own garden at home. This project creates a new way to distribute the sponges in a way that truly benefits and gives back to the planet.

The two-fold initiative aims to inspire Australians to reconsider their consumption habits and the materials in their products. Also, it encourages other businesses to rethink waste and explore innovative sustainable practices that truly benefit the planet.

Charli Walters, CEO of Koh, announced, “We’re honoured to be working with Community Gardens Australia to bring our Sponge Garden concept to life. The sponges live up to our brand's simple, safe, and sustainable promise. Because of this, we were able to work with Benoit and Community Gardens on the wicking garden designs, where our sponges could be given a second life -  from cleaning up food to growing food.”

A cleaning brand partnering with Community Gardens Australia might not sound like the most natural alignment, but the pair share values around reducing waste and engaging the community through education around sustainable initiatives. 

Naomi Lacey, President of Community Gardens Australia, said, “Community Gardens Australia are thrilled to partner with Koh to bring their Sponge Garden initiative to life. Our role is to connect community gardeners across Australia, fostering social development and sustainable urban land use while promoting better health, community building, climate action, waste reduction, and education.”

“The Sponge Garden project with Koh provides an exciting opportunity to educate community gardeners and the public about conscious consumption, recycling and regenerative horticulture using methods such as the wicking bed design,” she added. 

The Sponge Garden project with Koh illustrates how businesses and customers can effectively showcase circular economy strategies. The unlikely partnership creatively addresses a common business challenge by diverting excess stock from landfills to create vibrant gardens.

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About us:

About Koh 

Koh is revolutionising the cleaning aisle. It cracked the code of modern cleaning, developing eco-certified products that actually work. With clever, science-backed formulas, it managed to elevate customer expectations by cutting out unnecessary chemicals -- so they can clean smart, not hard. For more information on Koh, please visit or for more information on the sponge garden, please visit 

About Community Gardens Australia 

Community Gardens Australia (CGA) is a networking organisation connecting community gardeners around Australia. Within the capacity of its voluntary organisation, it advocates in support of community gardens and the practice of community gardening as a form of urban land use and social development. For more information on Community Gardens Australia, please visit 

About Benoit Luc

Benoit Luc takes a holistic and regenerative approach to horticulture, garden design and landscaping services, creating extraordinary gardens from his base in Wollongong, NSW on Dharawal Country. Benoit’s passion for regenerative design technologies and his enduring curiosity have led him to explore practised ecology in permaculture, Indigenous agricultural practices, bio-intensive organics, market gardening, mycology, bamboo architecture and other natural building techniques.  For more information on Benoit Luc, please visit

Contact details:

Claire Maloney | The Bravery | | 0431 279 785


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