International Paper EMEA joins the global fight against period poverty

February 1, 2023
IP volunteers pack feminine hygiene kits

Brussels, Belgium – May 31, 2022 – International Paper (IP), a leading global producer of renewable fiber-based packaging and absorbent pulp products, is partnering with charitable associations across Europe to donate 1,750 feminine care kits at the occasion of the International Day of Menstrual Hygiene which is celebrated annually on May 28. Each kit contains products girls and women desperately need but not necessarily have ready access to each month.

The initiative is part of a global campaign by the company to help fight period poverty, or the lack of access to menstrual products, education, hygiene facilities, waste management or a combination thereof. Period poverty impacts over 500 million people worldwide, including women and girls here in Europe. In the European Union, it is estimated that 1 in 10 girls cannot afford sanitary products, with differing situations in the various member states. 

Women and girls who experience period poverty often cannot go to school or work or otherwise participate in daily life. As a result, they may face physical, mental and emotional challenges, along with a range of health and reproductive issues.

To help ensure everyone can access the products and resources they need, IP EMEA donated the feminine hygiene kits to relevant charitable associations in Belgium, Poland, Spain, and Switzerland – countries where IP has operations in.

IP employees from each country volunteered to prepare the 1,750 kits, which contain an assortment of critical feminine hygiene products such as pads and liners, made from absorbent fluff pulp, a material that International Paper manufactures, along with an elegant cloth carrying pouch. Employees also added a personalized note of encouragement and support for the woman or girl receiving the kit. It’s the first time IP’s EMEA team are participating in the global campaign, looking to expand reach in coming years.

In Poland, the kits were donated to a support center for victims of domestic violence in Krakow and a single mother’s shelter located in Gdansk. In Belgium, the kits are being directed to two groups supporting victims of domestic violence and one who provides women with reproductive counselling and pregnancy support. Aldeas Infantiles SOS will distribute the kits to women and girls in the Canary Islands in Spain, while Fondation Partage will distribute them to those in need in Geneva, Switzerland. Globally, International Paper will be donating some 25,000 feminine care kits in 2022.

This initiative is just one of the many ways International Paper is dedicated to addressing critical needs in the communities where our employees live and work, while advancing our progress towards our Vision 2030 goal of positively impacting 100 million lives. We strongly believe in empowering girls and women. When the females in our communities have access to the products and resources they need each month, there's nothing they can't accomplish – period.

Read the full original news release.