You may have heard the term ‘Period Poverty’, recently, but you could be shocked to know that not only does it affect people who have periods in developing countries, Period Poverty also affects more than 137,700 young people in the UK – who have cited unaffordability of sanitary products as a reason why they have been unable to go to school.
This equates to 49% of 10-18-year-old girls in the UK missing an entire day of school because of their period. However, Period Poverty doesn’t just refer to the cost of sanitary products. It also means every cost that is associated with periods: painkillers, hot water bottles, bus fare to the pharmacist, the cost of a day off work and the cost of an extra load of laundry.
This, of course, can vary from person to person as every period is different. The effects of long-term austerity in the UK have placed family budgets under strain, meaning that often families simply cannot afford to buy sanitary products for their children.
Raising Period Poverty awareness
Whilst campaigns by brands such as Always and charities such as Plan International are raising awareness of the issue, food banks and other charitable organisations on the ground are helping to make a real difference.
According to statistics from the Trussell Trust, feminine hygiene products are provided ten times more often when a foodbank volunteer asks an individual if they are required, rather than after an individual’s request – demonstrating the stigma and shame that surrounds the issue.
Ending Period Poverty
In 2018, the Scottish Government became the first in the world to make sanitary products free to all 395,000 pupils and students in Scottish schools, colleges and universities. And in March 2019, the English parliament agreed to fund sanitary products in all English secondary schools and colleges.
Bunzl CHS branches across England and Scotland are now actively engaged and contributing to ending Period Poverty, working with educational establishments across the country to provide sanitary products to pupils and students who are in need. Our expertise and experience on the subject have ensured that we are well placed to give advice on the topic.
With the UK now in a climate crisis, organic, cruelty-free and biodegradable menstruation products are in high demand. Bunzl can also provide Mooncups and organic cotton sanitary products that match these requirements – helping to reduce waste and save money.
Feminine hygiene products available at Bunzl CHS include disposable sanitary bags and disposable sanitary bins. You can also buy branded sanitary products from Always, Tampax, LilLets and Mooncup – ideal for stocking up the bathroom at work or school.