Stop the plastic wave: How and why I set up the Eco Period Box campaign
Late last year, Ella Daish was inspired to kick off a plastic free period petition and see what she could do to help period poverty. The result, the Eco Period Box campaign, returns this April. She explains her inspiration and how you can get involved.
Thu 11 Apr 2019
I started campaigning in February last year when I launched an online petition to make all menstrual products plastic-free.
The petition calls on supermarkets and manufacturers to take responsibility and make change happen by going plastic-free. It has received an overwhelming response with over 184K signatures to date, which continues to grow by the day.
Since starting this campaign, I have become aware of just how many problems there are surrounding menstruation. These issues range from the taboo in talking about periods, the environmental impacts of plastic in our period care and period poverty.
What is period poverty?
Period poverty affects thousands of individuals each year, including those at school, those that are homeless, refugees and those who simply cannot afford them due to financial constraints. The thought of the countless women and girls missing out on their education and opportunities simply because they cannot afford the essentials they need, really saddened me. I wanted to address this issue and took action by launching my Eco Period Box campaign in December.
The Eco Period Box campaign
But why ‘Eco’? I set up the Eco Period Box to address period poverty in a way that I feel truly benefits all. Plastic-free period products and reusables are not only better for the people using them, but they also have a minimal environmental impact. I also believe that everyone, no matter their situation, deserves a choice in what they use.
In December I saw reverse advent calendars before to help food banks and felt compelled to do this, but instead for period poverty. So, at Christmas, rather than giving gifts to family and friends, I put an item each day throughout December into my box. This was then donated in the New Year to a charity called Llamau in Cardiff, to help support individuals in my local area affected by period poverty.
The Eco Period Box campaign encouraged everyone to join in and make a positive difference by sharing my video appeal, donating an item or two, setting up their own box or by giving online.
Overall, 4,000 plastic-free period products and 40 reusables were donated all over the UK, something I'm really proud of.
Click HERE to find our ultimate list of single use plastic free period products.
Donations were even sent to me and were distributed between The Red Box Project, Freedom 4 Girls, Bloody Good Period and The Trussell Trust. A local event and shop in Cardiff also supported this month of action by having a box and all donations collected were given to Cardiff Women's Aid.
What's next for the Eco Period Box campaign?
Although this campaign was originally for December, many have asked whether it would be extended and I’m excited to announce that following its success, it is back for April 2019.
I wanted even more people to benefit from it this time, which is why I’ve been in touch with shops throughout the UK and Ireland to bring the campaign to their area.
Click HERE to discover more zero waste stores in the UK
Want to discover more people fighting for plastic free periods?Click here to read our interview witih Natracare founder, Susie Hewson, who has campaigned for plastic free periods for the last 30 years.
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