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Partnership to reduce period poverty and menstrual waste

Partnership to reduce period poverty and menstrual waste

14 November 2022
[ Zoom ]
Emma Cantrell, Maya Gheorghe and Cllr Sarah Kerr, holding reusable period products at Maya's Refillables

Wokingham Borough Council is partnering with local businesses and charities to help reduce period poverty and help to get more people using reusable sanitary products. 

To encourage people to try these products, Maya’s Refillables, based in Wokingham town centre, will provide them at discounted rates for residents, helping them to save money and reduce waste.


The council is also working in partnership with First Days Children’s Charity and Wokingham Foodbank to provide reusable sanitary pads and Mooncups to people struggling financially. 

People who access these services will be provided with products free of charge directly by these charities, with funding support from the council.

Period poverty partnership

First Days will have an online form which people who are struggling can fill out and they’ll arrange for items to get to those who need them. 

Wokingham Foodbank will offer them to anyone who comes in to collect a food parcel to help make their money go further.


Both organisations are part of the Hardship Alliance, a partnership between the council, the foodbank and First Days, as well as Age UK Berkshire, Citizens Advice Wokingham and Wokingham United Charities.


Annette Medhurst, manager at Wokingham Foodbank, said: “At the moment many people are finding it hard to afford the essentials, let alone switch to more expensive reusable products.


“By providing reusable period items we hope to go some way to alleviate the difficult choices our clients are faced with. Hopefully providing period underwear will help people make an easy and cost effective change in a sustainable eco-friendly way.”

More in period poverty due to crisis

Cllr Sarah Kerr, executive member for climate emergency and resident services, said: “The cost of living crisis will be forcing more women and girls in Wokingham borough into period poverty.


“Wokingham Foodbank and First Days are providing a vital service to help people save money in a sustainable way. Switching to a Mooncup or reusable sanitary pads will help a household save more than £120 per year, per woman in the family.”

Reusable product partnership

The council is also developing partnerships with local and national businesses to provide reusable period products at reduced rates for everyone. 

Maya’s Refillables, located in Peach Place in Wokingham, is supporting the project. The business will provide a 10 per cent discount on reusable sanitary pads and Mooncups until the end of the year.


Use discount code WBC-SANIT-10 to get 10 per cent off products in the shop or buy online. The offer is valid until 31 December 2022. 

Business owner Maya Gheorghe said: “We want to provide sustainable, affordable options to people living locally.


“Shopping with us to try these products for the first time and potentially make the switch supports a local business and helps the planet. 

Switching means you’ll save money with long lasting products like Mooncups or reusable sanitary pads, which can last for years, compared to single item use items.”

Discount codes for local people

The project will also help residents access products at discounted rates. 

If buying for the first time, use the Mooncup guide on how to use your Mooncup, including pictures and videos.

The following companies are working with the council to support this initiative:

  • The Period Lady – buy online, use code WOK10 (unless higher discounts already apply)
  • Flux Undies – buy online, use code WO10


Data from before the impacts of the cost of living crisis kicked in shows in the UK one in ten people with periods cannot afford menstrual products and one in seven say they have struggled to afford them. 

Cutting waste from menstrual products

A standard pack of single use pads contains the same amount of plastic as five plastic carrier bags, with 200,000 tonnes of menstrual waste created every year in the UK alone.


Most of these end up incinerated, like they do in Wokingham borough, or in landfill. Some even make it onto the country’s beaches.

While this waste is not avoidable for everyone, using reusable options even some of the time can have a significant impact on the waste a household produces. 

More than £100 in annual savings

Disposable products can cost around £10 per month, according to estimates from Bloody Good Period

This requires buying new products every month. Reusables can last between five and ten years. 


Cllr Kerr added: “Reusable menstrual products have an undeniably lower environmental impact than single use products. 

Single use products can cost thousands over a lifetime so switching to reusables helps make the sustainable choice, the smart choice.”


As well as these local initiatives, a Government period product scheme is available to all state maintained schools and 16 to 19 education organisations in England. This includes access to reusable products. 

The scheme makes sure period products should be available for all who need them, when they need them, in order to access education. Having periods should not be a barrier to education for anyone. 

More from Wokingham Borough Council   

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