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Why we’re giving free tampons to our employees

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After years of lobbying, the government announced in the most recent Budget that it will abandon the ‘tampon tax’, with a zero rate of VAT applying to sanitary products from 2021.

However, here at BrandContent, we don’t think this goes far enough. Delaying the abolishment of this tax another year ignores the root cause of the problem: discrimination against women, which we believe will continue for months and years to come.

As a reaction to this slow response, effective from Thursday 12th March, we decided to offer free organic sanitary products to all staff and reimburse employees for buying a menstrual cup.

At BrandContent we’re fully committed to practicing sustainability and equality at all levels and we’re keen to alleviate the financial cost of menstruating for all employees. We want to make sure that staff are able to make eco-friendly choices with their period products and can afford to do so. It’s also important to us that we make sure all products provided to staff are as eco-friendly as possible and, help create less waste.

Each year, an estimated 1.3 billion tampon applicators are thrown away in the UK alone, and these usually end up in landfill or the ocean[ii]. There is a lack of research, and no government approval of the ‘ingredients’ that go into most sanitary products[iii] and therefore the environmental impact of sanitary product use, even in one person’s lifetime, soon adds up. Especially since most of these products are single-use and non-recyclable – with women using around 12,000 tampons in a lifetime and 100 billion tampons get thrown away each year.

As a team, we have thought carefully about the products this new company policy covers to make sure they are the most suitable and easily accessible for all the team. Therefore, Dame is our tampon supplier of choice, because of their reusable applicators and organic hypoallergenic organic cotton tampons.

Rachel Besenyei, head of business growth and impact at BrandContent, said: “We’re pleased to offer BrandContent staff access to organic, sustainable alternatives for use throughout their period – and for free. We consider this less of a work “perk” and more of a necessity. Enabling our staff to have access to organic tampons and a menstrual cup is a necessary and timely new policy, and we hope other businesses regardless of size or sector will follow suit.”

[ii] Dame impact report
[iii] The Guardian tampon wars 
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