Free Eco-Friendly Period Pads in Schools

Free period products, including eco-friendly reusable pad brand Bloom & Nora, are now available to all schools and colleges in England, as the Department for Education launches its funded scheme.

The new scheme is set to give pupils easy and free access to period products at school or college, helping to break down stigmas and ensure no young person’s education is disrupted by their period. 

Since Monday 20 January, schools and colleges across the country can order a range of period products from supplier PHS Direct, making period products readily available for all young people when they need them.

Schools and colleges will receive an activation email from PHS which will enable them to access the purpose-built PHS Direct portal and order products for their organisation.

Fiona Smyth, Director at Bloom & Nora, said

We are absolutely delighted to be supplying the scheme, not only helping to put an end to period poverty but also helping to raise awareness of the waste that disposable period products create. Giving young eco warriors the option to try them for free is the perfect way forwards.

One person can use up to 15,000 products in a lifetime most of which end up in landfill. Considering that they will still be around 500 years from now, it’s really quite alarming. To make matters worse, the ones that don’t end up in landfill, often end up on our beautiful shores. In 2013 the Marine Conservation Society held a beach clean across 96.7km of UK coast-line. They collected 428 tampons and tampon applicators per 4.4km and 1291 sanitary pads, panty liners and backing strips per 13.3km! (Source: Go Real). 

The products available as part of the scheme are: Mini and Midi Nora pads and waterproof storage bags.

David Taylor-Smith, CEO of PHS Group, said

“We are proud to be working with the Department for Education, as the supplier for such a worthy scheme. We have been busy preparing for the launch and have carefully chosen the best partners to provide eco-friendly period products, to give all girls in education a choice. We are ready for the first wave of demand, and encourage schools and colleges to look out for their activation email and make their first order so they can start offering free products as soon as possible.

Period products are a necessity, not a luxury, and we believe providing free products for young people will be a catalyst for change in creating period equality.”

The scheme follows the Government’s commitment last year to fully fund access to period products for learners at all state-funded primary schools, secondary schools and colleges. It also forms part of the Department’s ambition to improve provision of products for young people, helping to support campaigns to break the stigma around periods and raise awareness of menstruation. 

For support, schools and colleges can get in touch with PHS Direct by emailing periodproducts@phsdirect.co.uk or calling the helpline on 01827 255500.