Mooncup has launched a Monthly Savings Calendar to help young people calculate how much money they could save by switching to the brand’s reusable cup and is urging them to lobby their schools to engage with the free period product scheme offered by Government.

The Department for Education’s scheme enables state schools and colleges to offer free period products to pupils across England. It is the first scheme of its kind to offer Mooncup menstrual cups alongside disposable tampons and pads. But since it began in January, less than 40% of schools have signed up (source: the Free Period group). Now, says Mooncup, ‘time is running out’.

With the deadline for sign-ups looming – 31 December – the brand wants more educational establishments to opt into this free resource and hopes that the cost savings highlighted by the Monthly Savings Calendar might spur young people on to make the switch themselves as well as push their schools to get involved.

With the interactive Monthly Savings Calculator, users will learn that the average person uses 11,000 tampons and pads in their lifetime ‘at a conservative cost of at least 15p per product (based on an average value brand)’, equating to ‘72 months of gym membership, 597 takeaway lattes or 2,170 chocolate bars for those period cravings’ – or £1,650.

72 months of gym membership, 597 takeaway lattes or 2170 chocolate bars for those period cravings

In addition to the calculator, to make the lobbying process easier the company has created a #FreePeriod Lobbying Kit, containing: a template letter for parents and guardians to send to schools; guidance on putting pressure on Government through local councillors; a template letter for young people to ‘formally request their school or college takes part and includes sustainable products in their product selection’; video resources and a demo Mooncup to educate teachers; and a collection of #FreePeriod themed GIFs and illustrations – designed by YouTuber Grace Mandville – which can be shared on social media.

Kath Clements, Mooncup director, says: “We understand that the timing has been difficult for schools. However, the pandemic and product shortages following stockpiling will have made period poverty affect even more people. It is crucial that vulnerable students are not made to choose between spending their money on period care instead of other essentials like food. Or go without. Young people deserve better. We urge parents and young people to lobby their schools to make sure their school is signed up to the free period product scheme and to make sure that they get the free Mooncup to which they are entitled.”