Scotland has become the first country in the world to make period products available for free to ‘anyone who needs them’, in a scheme unanimously approved by MSPs on Tuesday.
Local authorities across Scotland have now been placed under a legal obligation to provide free period products, such as tampons and sanitary towels, to anyone who requires them.
MSP Monica Lennon, who has been campaigning to end period poverty since 2016, introduced the bill that saw this legislation – known as The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act – become written in law.
Calling the move ‘practical and progressive’ Lennon says: “The work to improve access to essential tampons, pads and reusables has never been more important.”
Reacting to the news on Instagram, organic period product brand Natracare this morning called the act ‘a huge step in the right direction of supporting people with periods to live without threat of period poverty, and with period dignity’.
We hope the act will be the first of many across the globe
“Periods don’t stop for a pandemic and nor do they stop for poverty … [This] will change the lives of so many people in Scotland. We hope the act will be the first of many across the globe.”
Scottish charity PKAVS Tampon Taxi also welcomes the development, writing on its Facebook page: “We are absolutely delighted that the Period Products Bill has passed, guaranteeing access to free period products in Scotland and setting a global standard for the eradication of period poverty.” Launched in March, the Tampon Taxi delivers free tampons and pads to residents in Perth and Kinross, offering ‘easy access to products’ and a ‘stigma-free experience’ to households in the area which would otherwise struggle to access or afford the period products they need. After receiving funds from the National Lottery Community Fund, the charity became able to offer ‘a wide range of reusable products as well as single-use options’.