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Michigan city is first in US to require tampons in public bathrooms

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DETROIT — A brand new Ann Arbor, Michigan ordinance requires all public bathrooms to provide sanitary products, together with pads and tampons, to customers for gratis — and it is believed to be the primary metropolis in the USA to take action.

The brand new ordinance, efficient Jan. 1, 2022, applies to all public restrooms below the plumbing code, not simply municipal buildings, and with out regard to gender designation.

“Entry to menstrual merchandise is a elementary human necessity,” mentioned Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor. “It is a matter of public well being and private dignity. And it is one thing that needs to be supplied to everybody.”

The ordinance, which handed by Ann Arbor metropolis council unanimously on Nov. 15, additionally ensures that different sanitary merchandise, together with bathroom paper, cleaning soap, paper towels and water, are additionally supplied.

Different cities have comparable measures, ones that simply apply to municipal buildings or in faculties, however none have been as all-encompassing. 

Taylor mentioned the inspiration to suggest the measure got here after a younger resident of Ann Arbor got here to him with the thought.

“A highschool scholar got here to me to specific her concern that individuals with out established residences had issue acquiring menstrual merchandise,” he mentioned. “And that received me to pondering over time, there have been some advances with respect to colleges, notably in Illinois and New York in authorities buildings. California has received one as effectively. And I requested workers to look and see whether or not we may obligate in any respect public restrooms in Ann Arbor present the provides as a result of they’re primary and elementary for individuals.

“We can and we did.”

This comes amid a transfer to make interval merchandise extra accessible and reasonably priced throughout the state. Earlier this month, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the “tampon tax” bill, which exempts merchandise like pads and tampons from sure taxes. 

Taylor mentioned the ordinance shouldn’t value town or companies a lot cash and that it is a possibility with low prices that may obtain a “social good.”

‘We completely want this’:Michigan lawmakers consider bipartisan push to end ‘tampon tax’

On the West Coast:California to soon require free menstrual products in public schools and colleges

He famous that many stakeholders and organizations all through town supported the transfer earlier than the vote.

“Folks with out established residences reside their each day life identical to all of us, they’ve the identical bodily requirements as all of us, and their entry to provides that many people do not give a second thought to is tough,” Taylor mentioned. “And so the supply of primary sanitation provides in all public restrooms in Arbor might be, for them, an vital life bettering measure.”

Contact Emma Stein: [email protected] and observe her on Twitter @_emmastein.

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