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Herts Sustainable Periods scheme - better for you and the planet


Various menstrual products

We're proud to support the new Herts Sustainable Periods scheme, launched by the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership along with Sustainable Hertfordshire, offering 15 per cent 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, increasing 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, such as water bottles, for many years, so it’s empowering to be talking about the unspoken waste, too. Our new Herts Sustainable Periods web page 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 per cent plastic, with a pack of pads containing five plastic bags worth on average. Most tampons contain plastic, too (not just the applicator but the absorbent part as well).
  • 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 such as BPA, dioxins, pesticides, bleach and fragrances - manufacturers don’t legally have to state what is in their products.
  • During lockdown 30 per cent of girls in the UK aged 14 to 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 impact than single-use period products. The menstrual cup is substantially better for the environment than other product options.

Patsy Dell, Executive Director for Sustainable Growth at Hertfordshire County Council, said: "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 that will work to increase education around reusable period products across Hertfordshire schools in conjunction with the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) and the Sustainability team at Hertfordshire County Council.

Find out more on the Herts Sustainable Periods web page or email wasteaware@hertfordshire.gov.uk.