Wales

Period poverty: Plastic-free sanitary products plans welcomed

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Media captionElla Daish has been campaigning since seeing plastic waste on her post round

An environmental campaigner says she is "overjoyed" after convincing a council to buy only plastic-free menstrual products.

In April the Welsh Government announced a £2.3m grant to provide all Welsh schools with free sanitary products.

Councils had been asked to spend 10% of the money on reusables but Caerphilly council said every penny would go on plastic-free disposable products.

Campaigner Ella Daish said more councils should take action.

The 26-year-old former postal worker from Cardiff started a petition calling on companies to remove plastic from period products last year after seeing discarded plastic on the streets when on her round.

Image copyright Ella Daish
Image caption The 26-year-old former postal worker has been campaigning since seeing plastic waste on her round

She has been lobbying supermarkets to stock eco-friendly products, with one recently announcing it would stop the production and sale of its own-brand plastic tampon applicators.

When the Welsh Government announced the Period Dignity Grant she was concerned it would be spent on conventional products, which can be up to 90% plastic, so began lobbying councils.

Image copyright Ella Daish
Image caption Tampons often come wrapped in plastic and encased in plastic applicators

She said: "I'm overjoyed that one of the councils I've been contacting has decided to take this step to actually go completely eco-friendly with their spending.

"We need more councils and governments to be taking this action, to consider the environment and start making green choices.

"We can tackle period poverty, the plastic crisis and protect the environment simultaneously."

Phillippa Marsden, cabinet member for education at Caerphilly council said: "We had an email from Ella, which was perfect timing because it aligned with our way of thinking in the group and actually we were all absolutely unanimous from the start, that's what we would do.

"It's ticking the boxes in terms of supplying those products to our pupils, but it's also saying we want to be socially responsible."

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