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Sanitary Products: Plastics

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 8th October 2019.

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Photo of Paul Farrelly Paul Farrelly Labour, Newcastle-under-Lyme

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions she has had with feminine hygiene manufactures on the removal of plastics from all women’s sanitary products.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Holding answer received on 07 October 2019

On 16 April this year, the Government announced it will fully fund a scheme to provide access to free period products in schools and colleges in England. We are developing this scheme in conjunction with schools and 16-19 education providers to ensure it best meets the needs of all learners. We are committed to encouraging the use of sustainable products where possible and will work with stakeholders to explore whether this can be integrated into the scheme. In addition, in light of the period poverty initiative, NHS Supply Chain plans to widen the scope of the sanitary products available to the NHS. This will include focusing on providing more sustainable, non-plastic products such as menstrual cups and washable sanitary towels.

The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out the Government’s plans to reduce plastic pollution and to move towards a more circular economy. The strategy outlines the actions we will take to encourage producers to take more responsibility for the lifespan of their products and make sure these are more carefully designed with resource efficiency and waste prevention in mind. Our ambition is to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste throughout the lifetime of the 25 Year Environment Plan, and for the most problematic plastics we are going faster. We have already made good progress and will continue to review the latest evidence on problematic products and materials to take a systematic approach to reducing the use of unnecessary single-use plastic products.

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