The Scottish Government have brought in new legislation making it a legal requirement for all councils and education providers to make period products available free of charge to anyone who may need them. The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act came into force on the 15th of August 2022.
The act will make Scotland the first country in the world to lawfully protect the right for people to have free access to period products. The implementation of this act will build on the Period Products in Schools (Scotland) Regulations which came into force in October 2020.
Social Justice Secretary, Shona Robison Said: “Providing access to free period products is fundamental to equality and dignity, and removes the financial barriers to accessing them. This is more important than ever at a time when people are making difficult choices due to the cost of living crisis and we never want anyone to be in a position where they cannot access period products.
“Since 2018, we have delivered ground-breaking action by providing free period products for pupils and students in all our schools, colleges and universities. We are proud to be the first national government in the world to take such action.
“The work we are doing in Scotland continues to be world leading, going goes beyond provision of free products. We have also provided funding for an educational website for employers, run a successful anti-stigma campaign, and improved menstrual health resources available for schools.
“I’m grateful to all the young women and girls who have been crucial in developing the best ways to access products to meet their needs.”
To enable people to find places where they can get free products, the Scottish Government have worked together with social enterprise Hey Girls to create an app which will list the locations that provide period products. The app is called PickUpMyPeriod and is available on the app store and play store.
Founder of Hey Girls, Celia Hodson said: “This is a ground-breaking project for Scotland. For the first time, people across the country will be able to use an app to find and access free period products that they can walk or drive to easily.
“As a Scottish-based social enterprise whose core goal is to help eradicate period poverty, it was great to have our app idea adopted, part-funded and supported by the Scottish Government. PickupMyPeriod will act as a fantastic tool to raise awareness of period poverty and equality, as well as providing support to people who need a little extra support across Scotland.”
One such business in Perth and Kinross that are providing free period products is Wasted Degrees Brewing in Blair Atholl. The brewery, which is working in partnership with Hey Girls, have offered free products since the 15th of April 2022 to any customers who need them.
For more information on the act visit: https://www.gov.scot/news/period-products-act-comes-into-force/.