It is now well-known that disposable tampons and sanitary pads aren’t fantastic for the environment - with reusable menstrual cups a much more eco-friendly option.
As are period pants – ordinary-looking underwear that cleverly absorbs your period made from highly-absorbent material that can hold up to two tampons’ worth of menstrual blood per pair.
In March it was announced by HM Treasury that tampons and sanitary pads will have their VAT dropped from January 1st, after previously being taxed at 5%.
However, despite a campaign, the UK government has refused to budge on its decision to continue using the 20% levy on period pants.
Earlier this year, period pant brand Wuka petitioned the government to stop penalising women using this more sustainable choice to manage their periods.
They launched a petition calling for them to receive “0% VAT along with disposable menstrual products in the new financial year” – which has so far received more than 11,000 signatures.
However, the government has refused to tweak the legislation, explaining that “difficulties in policing the scope of the relief create the potential for litigation, erosion of the tax base and a reduction in revenue”.
They added: “Even though period pants may find they do not qualify, the new zero rate will ensure that every woman that needs sanitary protection during their monthly cycle will, from the start of January and for the first time, have access to a variety of zero rated products on which they had previously paid a 5 per cent rate of VAT.”
Wuka - who had promised to pass any VAT reduction onto customers - is one of a number of brands selling period pants, including Thinx, Modibodi and Sainsbury’s.
According to the Women’s Environmental Network, the average woman will get through an incredible 11,000 disposable menstrual products.
While the number of tampons or pads used will vary per woman, depending on how heavy her period is, how long it lasts and how frequently it comes, the costs add up.
It has previously been revealed that a monthly bleed costs the average woman £18,000 in a lifetime.