Back in 2017, we launched our first campaign to challenge the government’s view that periods are a luxury. In 2021 we petitioned to have tax removed on period pants, but despite receiving 18,161 signatures, our efforts weren’t successful. Undeterred, we launched another petition in 2022. With 6,055 signatures, we were again unsuccessful, despite the decision to drop the tax on single-use tampons and pads. But we’re WUKA warriors, and we refuse to let it lie. So we’ve just launched our third petition – because we’re determined to axe the Period Pants Tax! This time we need 100,000 signatures.
What is the Period Pants Tax?
Don’t get us wrong. We love that the government has made steps to reduce period poverty in the UK. But by scrapping the so-called ‘tampon tax’ they’re actually making it harder for people to have a sustainable period. They’re still classing periods as a luxury, penalising those who wear period pants over using disposable, single-use alternatives.
One of the major reasons why people are reluctant to try period pants centres around the price. With 20% tax on these items, it’s difficult for brands like us to compete with the low price of plastic-riddled pads and tampons. But menstruation is a physical function, not a choice. And the Period Pants Tax is discriminating against everyone who chooses to buy period pants, deeming them non-essential items instead.
In the UK, 1.5-2billion pads and tampons are flushed down the loo each year, and it costs an estimated £88million to unblock the clogged up drains. Think of the money we could ALL save, whether we bleed or not!
Why do we need to axe the period pants tax?
Before 2021, we also paid tax on menstrual cups, incontinence pants and nappies too. Along with pads and tampons, these products now have 0% VAT, compared to 20% for period pants. The government has failed to acknowledge reusable period pants as menstrual products, and this is creating a very unfair playing field for all of us out there who want to use sustainable period products. The fact is, many will not be able to purchase period pants, period.
Period pants are designed to do exactly the same job as pads, tampons and cups. They’re worn during your period to absorb your flow and prevent leaks. Just like disposable alternatives. Except that period pants are an eco-friendly, sustainable option, designed to be washed and reused again and again.
Recognising period pants as menstrual products would make them more accessible and affordable, and ultimately assist the government in meeting it’s 2030 target to reach net zero. It just makes sense!
How can you support us?
We need our WUKA warriors! Please sign and share our petition. Help us reach 100,000 signatures once more, so that the issue can be debated in parliament. In return, we pledge to you a price drop to reflect the VAT reduction.
Shout about the campaign. Share on social media, write to your MP, make your voice heard. Periods are NOT a luxury. We should not pay to bleed. We need to axe the period pants tax NOW.
Does the UK have tampon tax?
The tampon tax was abolished in 2021, as the government deemed disposable pads and tampons as an essential item as a menstrual product. This is despite the fact that a staggering 200,000 tonnes of disposable pads and tampons are dumped into landfill each year in the UK, and a further 2 million items are flushed down the loo end end up polluting our oceans and water ways.
One single pair of WUKA period pants would save 200 disposables from destroying our planet, yet period pants are still not classed as an essential item.
Are period pants VAT exempt?
No. Period pants are still subject to 20% VAT because the government does not class them as a menstrual product. Instead they’re deemed a luxury item! If you have a period, we think you’ll agree there is nothing luxurious about it.
if you agree that period pants are essential, please support our campaign!
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