29th May 2024
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Pharmacies across Catalonia start to offer free reusable menstrual products

More than 3,000 pharmacies across Catalonia started giving away free reusable menstrual products on Monday, such as menstrual cups, absorbent underwear and reusable fabric pads.

With an initial cost of €8.5 million, the aim is to combat ‘menstrual poverty and reduce waste’.

It’s part of the ‘My period, my rules’ (Mi regla, mis reglas) campaign launched by the Catalan Department of Equality and Feminism. The Catalan Minister for Equality, Tània Verge, said it aims to ensure that ‘menstruation is not an extra cost for women’ while ‘taking care of the planet’.

The products can be collected, initially until 2025, in almost all of the 3,272 pharmacies in Catalonia. The Catalan government has said that if a pharmacy runs out of a product, it will be back in stock within 48 hours.

According to the campaign, 2% of all women in Catalonia cannot afford menstrual products, so the aim is that ‘all women in Catalonia, wherever they live, are guaranteed a key fundamental right such as being able to decide about one’s own body, as well as having menstrual education and information throughout the life cycle’.

In order to get the QR code that gives access to the free menstrual products you have to log into Catalonia’s health website La Meva Salut, be over 16 years old, have a TSI health card, a cell phone to receive an SMS, an email address and a digital certificate (or you can request registration to access with a password).

With the QR code, you can then go to any pharmacy in Catalonia and request the reusable menstrual product of your choice.

Sustainable menstrual products have been chosen for the campaign as it is more costly for women and the environment to use products made of cellulose, plastics, among other chemicals. According to the authorities, around 9,000 tons of non-reusable menstrual products are discarded in Catalonia every year, which has a considerable environmental impact.

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