Women unable to afford period products amid the cost of living crisis are resorting to looting public toilets and using wads of toilet paper as an alternative, according to a charity. It comes as a new ‘hygiene bank’ has been set up to give free products to people in need.

Hygiene Bank coordinator Leah Cooper says women have to choose between paying their bills, putting food on the table or buying hygiene products, reports GloucesterhireLive. The Hygiene Bank has projects across the country, including a recently established base in Gloucestershire.

Leah said: “The general cost of living has gone up so much and people are basically making sure to pay their bills and put food on the table first. Some may seek to ditch the purchase of hygiene products in their grocery shopping due to the added cost. »

Leah expressed concern about the impact the situation could have on the mental health of individuals if they are unable to purchase essential hygiene items. She said: ‘So many people have been out of work and I think there may be repercussions for not being clean. If someone were to show up for an interview unclean, an employer might not look kindly on them – that’s a real anxiety people can have.

“There’s the element of period poverty and even though own brand towels from the supermarket aren’t really expensive, it’s something women go without. I’ve heard it’s so bad for some that some women go to public restrooms and pack tissues to put in their pants instead of a sanitary napkin.

“Some people really can’t afford these items and they are essential. We are accepting donations for women’s products, diapers and other household cleaning products because people are really struggling right now.

To donate to the charity, visit their Facebook or Just Giving pages.