The hidden crisis of hygiene poverty in the UK 

Annika Collins 

May 22, 2024

It is shocking to learn that there are many people in the UK still living in poverty. Those with low incomes are faced with restricted options, meaning they often must choose between heating their homes, paying rent, eating, or purchasing personal hygiene products. 

A recent study carried out by the charity The Hygiene Bank revealed that over 4 million adults in the UK are thought to be experiencing hygiene poverty, which impacts their physical and mental health, and often leads to social isolation. 

What is hygiene poverty? 

Hygiene poverty is not being able to afford basic yet essential hygiene and grooming products.

Many of us take for granted brushing our teeth and hair, not having to improvise because we can’t afford sanitary products, or to worry about when we will next be able to wash our hair or clothes.

Feeling clean shouldn’t be a luxury or privilege yet unfortunately for some it is.

The Hygiene Bank – how can you help?

There are several ways you can help. Check out some of the options below:

  • Donate new and unused hygiene and household cleaning products to your nearest drop-off point. Think about the items you often need and use as it is likely someone else will need them too. Further information on what products they collect is available on the website
  • Buy products online, directly from local community wish lists, if you are unable to get to your nearest drop-off point

Your support can help ease the struggle of hygiene poverty and make life a little easier for millions in the UK. By contributing in any way you can, you are not just providing essential products, you are also helping to restore dignity and confidence, and relieving the pressure on those with low incomes.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this blog represent those of the author, Annika Collins, and are not those of recycle-more, Valpak Limited or any other organisation.