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County-wide scheme offers 15% off sustainable period products

15th April 2022

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Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, along with Sustainable Hertfordshire, have launched a new scheme Herts Sustainable Periods offering 15% off reusable period products with selected suppliers to all Hertfordshire residents. The aim is to tackle period waste while also addressing a number of other issues around women’s health and period poverty.

Herts Sustainable Periods follows the success of the Herts Reusable Nappy Scheme and increased efforts to reduce waste across Hertfordshire.

Helena Jackson, WasteAware Co-Ordinator at Hertfordshire Waste Partnership said: “We’re thrilled to be raising awareness of the different options of reusable period products. Our discount scheme offers items suitable for all ages, needs and preferences. Not only do reusable period products save waste and save you money, they’re also more comfortable and better for your body.

“We have run campaigns on the swapping away from the more visible single-use items, like water bottles, for many years, so it’s empowering to be talking about the unspoken waste too. Our new Herts Sustainable Periods webpage shares details about the products available, and we’ve kept our social media campaign deliberately inclusive and fun to appeal to a broad audience”.

So, what’s the issue with traditional single-use period products?

  • Many period products can contain up to 90% plastic, with a pack of pads containing 5 plastic bags worth on average. Most tampons contain plastic too (not just the applicator but the absorbent part too).
  • It is estimated that 4.6 million of these are flushed down toilets every single day! Apart from being harmful to marine life, disposable products flushed down the toilet contribute to another problem – fatbergs. Fatbergs are huge masses of period products, wet wipes, nappies, fats and oils which cause blockages in our sewers.
  • Period products can contain toxic industrial chemicals like BPA, dioxins, pesticides, bleach and fragrances - manufacturers don’t legally have to state what is in their products.
  • During lockdown 30% of girls in the UK aged 14-21 years struggled to afford or access period products. With reusables, they are always available.
  • People who have periods use more than 11,000 disposable period products in their lifetime.
  • Reusable period products have a lower environmental impactthan single-use period products. The menstrual cup is substantially better for the environment than other product options. (Menstrual products and sustainable alternatives report 2021 - Life Cycle Initiative)

Patsy Dell, Executive Director for Sustainable Growth at Hertfordshire County Council said: “This is a great example of the kind of partnership work that we do so well in Hertfordshire. I’m really pleased that the Waste Partnership is able to offer this discount to make sustainable period products more attractive and accessible for our residents across the county. We are committed to making Hertfordshire a cleaner, greener, healthier county and this project will have a significant part to play in achieving these aims.”

This scheme is part of a wider project which will work to increase education around reusable period projects across Hertfordshire Schools in conjunction with the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) and the sustainability team at Hertfordshire County Council.