In Germany, You Can Buy Your Tampons In A Book (And Pay Less Tampon Tax Too)

by Rudy Sanchez on 06/28/2019 | 2 Minute Read

Germany, like many other places, has some form of a “tampon tax,” placing the feminine hygiene product in a taxable category and deemed a non-essential, unlike food or water. In the European nation, tampons are taxed at 19%, while books are taxed at 7%. One company decided to use this tax difference to offer their organic sanitary products at a lower price through a bit of subversive packaging while raising awareness of the “tampon tax.”

Editorial photograph

Called the Tampon Book, it is a volume of stories about menstruation from biblical times to the present era and includes illustrations from artists Alica Lauger and Ana Curbelo. It differs from most books in that it also takes advantage of the lower tax rate to sell organic tampons. 

The book contains 15 tampons, and the first run sold out in a day, the second run within a week, selling around 10,000 copies to date, according to The Guardian.

Editorial photograph

Female Company, the publisher of the Tampon Box, sought in part to disprove German finance minister Olaf Scholz’s claim that a reduction in the tax does not ensure that the lower price would be passed along to the consumer by selling the book for €3.11 ($3.55).

In the US, nine states and Washington D.C. have eliminated sales taxes on tampons (or don’t have a sales tax at all), while a federal repeal failed to pass in Congress.

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