Period Dignity Survey – High Demand for Free Period Products in Washrooms

Updated on December 8, 2023

Discover the results of Citron Hygiene’s survey on menstrual hygiene practices in North American washrooms. Learn about the overwhelming demand for free period products, the importance of menstrual hygiene waste disposal, and how businesses can enhance their restroom facilities. Find out how Citron Hygiene is committed to providing period dignity through the provision of free products and hygienic waste disposal solutions. Improve your washroom standards and meet the needs of menstruating individuals with Citron Hygiene.”


High Demand for Free Period Products in Washrooms period dignity survey citron hygiene

Citron Hygiene conducted a survey of over 3000 women in North America to assess menstrual hygiene practices in public washrooms, and the results are clear: there is a pressing need for improvement.

High Demand for Free Period Products

89% of women across North America agree that pads and tampons should be offered for free in school and healthcare washrooms. 75% think that period products should be free for all menstruators, everywhere, all the time. There is only minor variation in responses by age and region, showing that the demand to access period products in the same way one would expect to access toilet paper is almost unanimous among women throughout the continent.

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Usage Preferences and Financial Constraints

The survey also revealed how respondents would use free period products if offered to them. Approximately 66% would take only what they currently need, while 16% would stock up for the day. Only 6% would take products for their entire period, and a mere 2% would take supplies for future periods. Notably, 26% of women reported struggling to afford pads and tampons due to inflation and interest rate increases. This data suggests that even those in need would hesitate to take more than their fair share. Offering free period products at work and school can be life-changing for these individuals, enabling them to fully participate without fear of falling behind or facing stigma for absenteeism during menstruation.

Importance of Menstrual Hygiene Waste Disposal

Providing period dignity goes beyond offering menstrual products; it extends to managing and disposing of menstrual hygiene waste. Traditional disposal options in women’s washrooms often involve small steel boxes mounted on cubicle walls or, in some cases, no disposal option at all. Half of the surveyed women deemed metal wall boxes inadequate, while 75% agreed that touch-free menstrual hygiene waste bins were superior. Neglecting the needs of menstruating visitors can have consequences for businesses, as nearly 30% of women reported preferring to flush their pads and tampons rather than use unsanitary and often overflowing metal wall boxes.

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Business Benefits of Offering Free Period Products

66% of women responded that they would prefer to spend money at a business that provided free period products over one that did not. But businesses can benefit in more ways than one by offering a true Period Dignity Washroom. When no menstrual hygiene waste disposal is offered in the stall, women are most likely to flush pads (15%) and tampons (38%), causing businesses significant and costly plumbing problems from backup, as menstrual waste absorbs water and expands, rather than breaking down like toilet paper. However, when a touchless menstrual hygiene waste unit is offered, the likelihood of flushing decreases to 13% and 26%, respectively.

Commitment to Period Dignity

Citron Hygiene, a global washroom hygiene services company specializing in providing and disposing of menstrual hygiene in public washrooms, has surveyed 3000 women across Canada and the US about their sentiments toward free period products, menstrual waste disposal, and flushing period products.

“The data we’ve gathered unequivocally displays a demand for increased standards in washroom hygiene, particularly for menstruating washroom users,” said Robert Guice, CEO of Citron Hygiene.

“The status quo of unhygienic metal wall boxes and empty, paid vending machines is simply not good enough. Women across North America want free period products in washrooms, just like toilet paper and soap, and they understand the positive impact it will have on their day-to-day lives.

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But period dignity is not only about the ability to access period products – it’s also about having safe, hygienic disposal options in the stalls.

Washrooms need to accommodate how menstruators manage their periods in public spaces so they can continue their work, school, and social activities without stigma or fears for their health or livelihood.”

In 2022 Citron Hygiene partnered with Aunt Flow and committed to only offering customers pads and tampon dispensers for their washrooms.

Combined with menstrual hygiene waste disposal bins and services, this commitment enables schools and businesses to provide Period Dignity Washrooms to all users.

menstrual hygiene waste disposal bins and services

Find out how we can elevate your washroom experience today.