Students At Birmingham University Will Now Get Free Tampons

Students At Birmingham University Will Now Get Free Tampons

Students at Birmingham University will get free sanitary products thanks to a campaign by a sabbatical officer at the students' union.

Daisy Lindlar, guild representation and resources officer, came up with the idea in response to the "tampon tax" - which MPs in parliament are currently debating. Sanitary items are currently subjected to a 5% tax as they are classed as "non-essential, luxury items". Some "necessary" items which are exempt from tax or taxed at 0% include crocodile meat, aircraft repair and edible cake decorations.

Those who use sanitary products are looking at forking out for a hefty bill over their lifetime, for around 11,000 of the items, which can equate to 38 working days' worth of earnings.

In a blog on Huffington Post UK, Lindlar writes: "I'm fortunate in that although the tampon tax angers me, I would never be actually priced out of a period. But there are many people who aren't so lucky. These people have to resort to unhealthy measures to manage their periods, such as "back-to-backing" the Pill in order to avoid having a period in the first place, or creating unhygienic, home-made alternatives to traditional sanitary products.

"We should be talking about our bodies, and the associated cost of them, so that we can move towards a society where we do not have to pay an extra charge just because we were born with a healthy uterus.

"If we can access contraception for free, why shouldn't the same apply to sanitary products?"

In 2014, the University of East Anglia's students' union announced it would be going "profit free".

"Our range of tampons, towels and mooncups will be sold at the price we buy them in at, with prices starting at 49p," UEASU said. "We stock Always, Tampax, Co-op and ethical alternative Natracare, as well as mooncups, and our decision will mean that in some cases we’re halving the price of a period on campus."

Sussex University students' union, meanwhile, hands out free sanitary products every Wednesday for its students.

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