1,000 signatures reached
To: Premier Daniel Andrews
Eco-Friendly Periods 4 Vic Schools
Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that Victorian School Students will be able to access free pads and tampons from school. However, most sanitary items are between 6 and 90% plastic, which is terrible for the environment our young people will inherit. We want Daniel Andrews to commit to providing a choice of sustainable sanitary items for our young people in schools.
Why is this important?
As a science teacher, I'm lucky to get to work with young people learning about the impact of pollution on our environment. My classes are shocked to learn about how plastic causes harm, especially to marine ecosystems, and while it's great that we're rolling out free pads and tampons statewide to end period poverty, we should make sure that we're also looking after the environment.
Tampons have a polyester veil and are composed of approximately 6% plastic. Sanitary pads are made up of 90% plastic. Having plastic so close to such an intimate part of a young person's body is not good for their health and not good for the environment. As well as their contribution to plastic pollution, a year's worth of typical menstrual products impacts the climate too, with a carbon footprint of 5.3 kg CO2 equivalent per individual.
The average person who menstruates throws away 200 kg of menstrual products in their life time. Unfortunately some period products enter the sewage system. Overtime their plastic content breaks down into smaller pieces, known as micro-plastics and fibres. This poses a further threat to vital eco-systems where they can enter the food chain from the bottom, up.
This petition is about giving young people choice over how they manage their period. If given a choice, I argue that many young people will choose to manage their period in a sustainable way.
I am asking that the Victorian Government provide Victorian students with the option of choosing eco-friendly period products; menstrual cups, period pants or washable pads. Young people should be able to make their own decision about how they wish to manage their period. Giving them this option will help encourage Victorian school aged children to manage their periods in a sustainable way and keep huge amounts of waste out of Victorian landfill. It will also help foster sustainable life habits and choices. A person needs to only have 7 menstrual cycles before the costs of a menstrual cup and one pair of period undies are re-couped. The alternative proposed, over the life time of this initiative, will save the public purse immensely and as well as save costs to landfill.