We all know that we're in the midst of a major environmental crisis RN, which is exactly why this latest movement to tackle the issue is music to our ears.
In an Open Letter to the Department of Education, charities, campaigners and sustainable period brands have joined forces to demand that free period products in secondary schools should also be plastic-free.
Plastic period products are a major component of plastic pollution and the fifth most common waste washed up on beaches so this is vital change that needs to be made.
It comes after the government announced in March 2019 that period products would be free in English secondary schools and colleges after campaigners highlighted that girls from low-income families miss school during their period as they are unable to afford sanitary protection.
However, the government has also challenged schools to go plastic-free by 2022. In an empowering open letter addressed to the Department of Education, charities including City to Sea, The Cup Effect, Bloody Good Period, and brands DAME, WUKA and Natracare and individual activist Ella Daish demanded change.
Everything you need to know about reusable sanitary towels
If the government fails to provide plastic-free period products, the equivalent of 90 million plastic bags will be thrown away by pupils annually. In fact, a recent UK beach clean-up found 9 used plastic tampon applicators per 1km beach, which is pretty terrifying stuff.
Here's the kickass open letter that was penned to the Department of Education that pushed for change...
To the Department of Education
We need to talk about period products.
You’ve promised to give them for free to students in school in the UK and we stand with you. But products sold by major brands today contain plastic that will last a hundred years or more. Plastic that our children continue to find on UK beaches.
Now, with the invention of plastic-free and reusable period products, you have the power to change this. For the first time, you can help an entire generation have better periods.
These are all the incredible ways period brands are reducing their impact on the oceans - and we salute them!
We believe young people shouldn’t have to choose between their own comfort and the environment. Since the government challenged schools to go plastic free by 2022 and recognised period products as a serious contributor to plastic pollution, we know that you agree.
Let’s send a message of hope. Let’s show school students that they don’t face the environmental crisis – or their periods – on their own. It’s time to act because if we do, we’ll save enough plastic each year to keep the equivalent of 90 million plastic bags out of our oceans.
Period products should be given out free-of-charge in school and they should be plastic-free too. We owe this to our children and the planet.
Here are all your options for period products so you can make an empowered choice
Join them by signing the petition here.