Despite the fact that one in two young Australian women used a reusable product during their last period, schools and educators are failing to provide adequate knowledge to young people on reusable menstrual products.
Around 55.7 per cent of high school students and 47.7 per cent of participants between the ages of 15 and 19 lacked sufficient information on reusable, says David Wheeler, operations and strategy director at the Reckitt Global Hygiene Institute (RGHI), who believes that younger generations are generally more environmentally conscious – and that extends to feminine hygiene products.
“The menstrual hygiene sector should be recognising that and ensuring that there is adequate information and access to such products. Only then can the menstrual hygiene needs of all be met, in line with the 2030 sustainable development agenda.”
According to BMC Women’s Health journal, reusable period products have become more popular among young Australians. More than 33 per cent of participants said they use reusable goods when they are menstruating, and 28 per cent of them think sustainability in hygiene products is crucial.
However, on the education websites, only 30 per cent of reviews mentioned menstrual cups and less than 25 per cent of reviews referenced reusable pads.
Menstrual cups comprise just 1.5 per cent of the throwaway product market and 10 per cent of the cost of original items when it comes to environmental impact. A reusable pad is anticipated to save $205 and reduce the use of 1300 single-use tampons per person.
Also, the research suggests that authorities should focus on hygiene education by gaining access to reusable products and improving bathroom facilities to promote menstrual health and hygiene.
- Recommended reading: Why menstrual cups are a cheaper, more sustainable option to tampons or pads.