Period poverty is the lack of menstrual hygiene products to care for oneself while menstruating. 1 in 5 menstruators worldwide experience period poverty. Without pads, tampons or other supplies, menstruators are held back from attending school and work, worried about bleeding through, scraps of fabric, plastic bags, wadded toilet paper or other materials that they find to try and contain the blood. This issue does not only impact the menstruator, it silently impacts entire communities, companies and schools. Menstruators silently go missing from their jobs or classrooms monthly without being comfortable enough to give a reason, knowing that it will just happen again next month. Period products are expensive, in some places they are even taxed at a higher rate. As long as period products are not accesible and affordable, and the stigma against menstruation is smashed, we will continue to see menstruators fall behind in work and school, and have higher rates of illness.
Menstruation is a fact of life. Menstruators deserve the ability to live their lives to the fullest when they have their periods and lack of access to menstrual hygiene products should not be a barrier for anyone. Around the globe, people in remote or impoverished areas do not have access to menstrual hygiene products, and even when these products are available, they are not eco-friendly, or trash processing facilities are minimal.
Menstruators around the world need an eco friendly hygiene product that is financially accessible. Many menstruators face preventable infections due to lack of menstrual hygiene. Women’s bodies are perceived as dirty, due to derogatory stories precipitated by male dominated societies. Many people do not have access to much water for bathing, nor do they have clean materials to use for sanitary napkins and toilet paper. Infections occur as a result of the use of grasses, soiled wool, and stones as hygiene products. Pads that are accessible contain by products from the bleaching process and contain atleast 3-4 plastic bags worth of plastic.
An increasing number of consumers are concerned about the environment and this influences their shopping. This concern extends into the realm of hygiene products, with expectations that reusable sanitary products will continue to become more popular among consumers. For people who aren’t open to reusable products but still want to be eco friendly, beyond organic menstrual products, there are limited biodegradable solutions. Additionally, eco-friendly options are not just for the privileged who can afford them! Free products should be eco-friendly.