Mexico City has taken a stand against plastic, banning the sale of tampons until plastic applicators can be replaced with an environmentally friendly alternative. The decision is part of Claudia Sheinbaum’s green agenda, the city’s first Mayor, climate change scientist, and joint recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Significantly, the ban comes into force without the city offering an alternative. The products have been pulled from the shelves without clearly accounting for menstruation poverty. Applicator-less tampons are generally not available or can be as expensive as £2.45 per tampon online, in a country where women work more but earn less than men. The pandemic has pushed an estimated 10 million more people into poverty and with 260,000 homes lacking running, water menstrual cups are also not an option.
“We’re happy to see the city making the climate a priority, but the move is ill thought through. It marginalises women. Access to safe and affordable, if not free, menstrual products should not be a privilege but a human right. Protecting the environment shouldn’t come at the cost of disadvantaging another group, but a way to improve society for all and for future generations. The city produces more than 7 million tons of plastic per year. They should focus efforts on eliminating unnecessary plastic packaging or single-use plastics before removing a product with no alternative except consequences for the women that need them.”
Isla Tweed, Account Executive