Calling for periods free from plastic & hazardous chemicals

Thirty nongovernmental organisations, within the #breakfreefromplastic movement, call on European MEP Frédérique Ries to support the call for more sustainable menstruation within the new Proposal for a Directive on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment. In particular, they call on Reis to commit to: reducing menstrual poverty, minimizing exposure to hazardous substances as well as reducing plastic use and single-use plastic pollution.

Menstrual products (pads, tampons, tampon applicators, etc) are one of the most commonly found single-use plastic items in the marine environment; indeed, the European Commission ranks them the fifth most common. At the same time, half the world’s population needs menstrual products to lead a decent life. Women’s rights movement have long been calling on governments to recognise menstrual hygiene as a basic need and right. As such, all EU member states should be encouraged to make use of the VAT Directive that allows national governments to eliminate VAT on menstrual products. This is important to ensure that the single-use plastic directive does not lead to a disproportionate burden on women menstruating by causing an increase of costs. India has scrapped its tax on menstrual hygiene products, Australia is about to scrap theirs, and so should all EU member states.

Download the letter in full here.