Sanitary Protection: Plastics

(asked on 10th November 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of supporting producers of plastic-free sanitary products to reduce their environmental impact.

Answered by
Rebecca Pow Portrait
Rebecca Pow
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
This question was answered on 18th November 2020

We recognise the need to address the issues associated with the environmental impact of absorbent hygiene products (AHPs). In line with the Resources and Waste Strategy published in December 2018, we are considering the best approach for a range of products. There are a number of policy measures available to us, including standards and consumer information, and we believe the right approach for each product requires careful consideration taking account of various factors, for example, waste benefits versus energy usage. Therefore, we are carrying out new research into the impacts of reusable and disposable AHPs, which will help us decide on the best course of action. The tender for this project is currently live and more information is available here:

We are also seeking new powers in our landmark Environment Bill to drive the market towards more sustainable products. These measures form a package of powers that will help incentivise and shift the market towards more reusable alternatives.

However, plastic has an important role to play in many products due to its strength and sterility. We must therefore think carefully about how we solve the problems arising from plastic waste in order to avoid unintended consequences.

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