The United States has been struggling with a severe shortage of tampons for months now. Where they can still be found, they are much more expensive than before. Meanwhile, the question arises as to why producers and politicians are only realizing this problem now.
American women have been complaining to online forums about the empty cupboards in the tampon section since at least April. But only then Time Published an article about it in early June, the shortage is subject to public debate. Manufacturers regretted not being able to meet the demand on their own, and said that companies that distribute tampons to low-income groups did not receive enough donations to meet everyone’s needs.
Tampon shortage is another chapter in the global distribution problem after the corona epidemic. The reasons are now well known: the United States does not produce enough raw materials such as cotton, viscose and plastic, and all materials are needed to make mouth masks. Moreover, international freight traffic is still facing obstacles. So the raw materials did not come to the United States faster and cost significantly more than before the epidemic.
There is also a severe shortage of truck drivers in the United States, which exacerbates supply problems. To make matters worse, some tampon factories in Canada and the United States had to close temporarily due to the Omigron wave in the spring and those factories have been hit by staff shortages.
What makes the shortage of tampons so painful is that they simply meet the need for postponement or unplanned. Recent media attention on the tampon shortage has urged some women to save. According to US grocery operator Instagram, searches for tampons were up 13 percent last week from a week earlier, and only two-thirds of the company’s buyers were able to fulfill orders.
According to Bloomberg, the economic law of supply depletion and demand increase hit again: according to Bloomberg, tampon prices rose 9.8 percent year-on-year in May. Prices of sanitary napkins also rose 8.3 percent. This is very difficult for poor Americans. By 2021, more than 11 million of them will already have difficulty paying for their menstrual products, and half will be forced to choose one of their menstrual products or foods.
This makes it even more astonishing that the shortage has been under radar for so long. Some say that most of the CEOs and politicians who have to solve this problem are men, which is part of the problem. The US government has also been slow to take action on the shortage of baby milk powder.
Meanwhile, politics seems to have been shaken: Senator Margaret Wood Hassan wrote a letter to the CEO of Procter & Gamble, in which she argued that “access to menstrual products should be treated like any other essential product.”
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