Sainsbury’s is being targeted by campaigners because all its own-brand tampons contain plastic – and some shoppers want the supermarket to scrap it.
Ella Daish, a 26-year-old postwoman from Cardiff in Wales, has set up a petition on Change.org calling on Sainsbury’s CEO, Mike Coupe, to “take responsibility” and ditch plastic across its own-brand sanitary product range.
Sanitary products, the petition states, “are constantly being manufactured, used for 4-8 hours, disposed of, and then take over 500 years to break down.”
Most tampons available for sale contain small amounts of plastic, which helps hold the material together.
Daish showed HuffPost UK a letter, which she says Sainsbury’s sent to her earlier this week, which confirms “a small amount of plastic is used in our tampons and sanitary towels.”
The action is the next phase of a wider campaign, set up by Daish in February and signed by more than 105,000 people to date, which calls on all major manufacturers including Procter & Gamble, Tesco and Morrisons to scrap plastic from period products.
Daish plans to target brands individually in order to pile on the pressure, she told HuffPost UK. She previously singled out Tesco in May, which earlier this month introduced a new line of plastic-free tampons but is yet to commit to removing plastic from its own-brand range.
“So many people want this to change,” Daish told HuffPost UK. “People want to make a difference. People don’t want plastic in their period products.”
Sainsbury’s confirmed to HuffPost UK that currently all of its menstrual products did contain plastic, and said that it regularly reviews its range.
“We offer a range of tampons which come in recyclable cardboard boxes, including ones with biodegradable applicators. A very small proportion of plastic is used in the product themselves – our Super Plus Applicator tampons, for example, are around 3% plastic,” a spokesperson said.
Daish added: “Me and the supporters of the campaign will be continuously taking action and addressing this with other supermarkets. We’ll also want to target companies like Procter & Gamble as well.”