Canberra ranked second-most hygienic city in the world, but how hygienic are we really?

Lottie Twyford 1 October 2021
Man riding e-scooter at Lake Burley Griffin

Canberra has been named as the world’s second-most hygienic city in the world (maybe because of all those e-scooters). Photo: Michelle Kroll.

In new research you probably didn’t realise was even conducted, Canberra has been ranked second in the list of the world’s most hygienic cities.

Losing out only to Berlin, Germany, cities around the world were scored on factors such as pollution levels, amount of solid waste generated, rate of recycling and composting, handwashing culture, and national import volumes of hand sanitiser.

The research was undertaken by Californian company GotParts747, which sells and distributes products such as hand sanitiser, face masks and other personal protective equipment.

While the study was not entirely comprehensive as only 20 cities were included, the silver medal is still something Canberrans can be proud of.

In the scoring, Berlin received 8.2 out of 10, with Canberra getting 7.5 out of 10. This was followed by Ottawa in Canada, with 7.2, and Seoul in South Korea, with 6.8.

Tokyo, in Japan, finished in 10th place with 5.5 out of 10.

Empty supermarket shelves

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, people rushed out to buy hand sanitiser, stripping the shelves of local supermarkets. Photo: Region Media.

In case you’re interested, at the other end of the scale was New Delhi, India, in 20th place, just behind Manila, Philippines, and Beijing, China.

Canberra has the lowest pollution level index of the 20 cities surveyed, and it was recently named the world’s most sustainable city by UK energy comparison website Uswitch, although local experts in the ACT were divided about just how accurate that title is.

It’s fair to say that since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing, hygiene and copious amounts of hand sanitiser have well and truly become a significant part of our lives.

Only time will tell if they stick around.


READ ALSO: ACT Budget: $15.2 million for revamped Ambulance Service


In one nationwide survey, the results of which were released in October 2020, it was revealed there had been no major increase in Australians washing their hands since the same time in 2019, meaning the COVID-19 pandemic had little impact on the way, and how often, Australians are washing their hands.

ACT Health guidelines currently recommend practices such as social distancing and mask wearing, along with more general hygiene practices such as handwashing, regular house cleaning, and disinfecting frequently used items such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes.

If ever there was a better time to think about how often and how effectively you wash your hands, it might be Global Handwashing Day, which takes place on Friday, 15 October, 2021.


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