The tampon tax - as it's commonly known in the UK - has been dealt with, or has it? The UK government is getting rid of the 5% tax on tampons and pads from January 2021 - that’s pretty great news for people who bleed. However, the tax doesn’t apply to period proof underwear or other reusable options – not so great for those who want to make more sustainable, more comfortable choices for managing their period. What’s worse, period pants are taxed at a huge 20%! So those who have lower incomes are priced out of having a period solution that’s reusable, durable, and reliable and that saves them money in the long run.
The “tampon tax” measures announced by the Treasury only go part of the way towards solving the problem. The new zero rate of VAT will not apply to ALL female hygiene products - those that are actually sustainable are excluded. We believe that everyone should have the right to choose how they manage their periods and what products they wish to use, without it costing more.
Modibodi period underwear has many benefits, including increased sustainability - especially compared with the pollution caused by tampons and pads. Did you know it takes 500 years for a pad to breakdown in a landfill? Not only that, but with Modibodi comes the added benefit of comfort, and high levels of absorbency which can significantly reduce the number of bathroom visits required. The potential of period underwear to improve period dignity is particularly important for those for whom the bathroom routine is a key embarrassment, who may find it difficult to access a bathroom or for those with disabilities.
But if not included within the VAT zero-rate, reusable period pants will become more costly than the disposable counterparts, despite it being a more sustainable and practical form of menstrual protection. We believe it’s completely illogical that the Government is willing to provide a tax break on less environmentally friendly, and arguably less convenient, forms of sanitary protection.
So, what are we going to do about it? We’re asking people - you! - to sign our petition and write to your local MP to let them know that you think the zero-rate VAT should be on ALL menstrual products, including period-proof underwear.
- Sign your name. You can sign the petition and find out more about contacting your MP at https://www.change.org/o/modibodi
- Spread the pants love. Share a link to the petition or this blog on your social media to let friends and family know.
- Create a movement. Use the hashtag #ThisTaxIsPants on your social shares so people can find resources and like-minded content.