Women’s Health Tasmania are definite Good Sorts. They’re tackling period poverty and reducing the amount of period products and packaging that go to landfill with a sustainably smart initiative called The Undies Project.
The team believe having a period shouldn’t cost the earth. An astonishing 90 – 140 kilograms of pads, tampons and applicators can be thrown away in one person’s lifetime and that’s a big expense going into the bin every cycle too.
Period poverty is a real problem in Tasmania with people on low incomes sometimes struggling to cover the cost of single-use pads and tampons. The desire to switch to reusable period products exists for many, but not being able to afford the up-front price of reusable period underwear, menstrual cups or reusable pads can stop them.
This is where The Undies Project comes in. Starting as a pilot in February 2021, its aim is to provide 250 people with a pack of reusable period undies. The first bundles of undies were sent in March and to date more than 130 low-income individuals in the City of Hobart area have benefited from the program, which is assisted by a City of Hobart Urban Sustainability Grant.
The funding covers 250 bundles of undies for people in the City of Hobart area. Women’s Health Tasmania is working to have the project extended with the support of community donations and to reach more areas across the state.
The washable, reusable period undies provide many benefits including their ability to trap moisture using natural bamboo and sports merino fabric; being comfortable while staying in place; and being cheaper in the long run than the single-use alternatives. And, of course… much less period products and packaging waste in landfill.
The project also aims to normalise conversations about periods. As project manager, Lucinda, says:
“The menstrual taboo has a lot of negative impacts on society – including health impacts. By amplifying the voices of people who’ve participated in the project, empowering them to talk about menstruation we think we can create a cultural change and have healthier, realer conversations about menstruation.”
The Undies Project is having a positive effect on many levels. When you consider that Australians collectively contribute approximately 18,000 metric tonnes of sanitary waste to landfill every year, it’s encouraging to know that period waste is being reduced with the help of Tassie Good Sorts like Women’s Health Tasmania.
Find out more about The Undies Project eligibility or how to support the program by visiting: