Is your time of the month damaging the environment?
When we chat about our periods, plastic may not be the first aspect we focus on. Whether we’re trying to ease cramps or wondering why on Earth it’s late, our menstrual cycles are often talking topics. But not all of us know the impact that the plastic in sanitary pads having on our planet.
The average sanitary pad is made from 90 per cent plastic – that’s the equivalent of four single-use carrier bags. And tampons are just as bad – because their applicators are commonly coated in plastic, they’re non-recyclable. According to Lil-Lets, the average woman uses 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, which equals 5,500 plastic bags. So if you’re taking your 16-pack of pads home in a reusable bag, you’ll actually be purchasing 64 single-use bags. Shocking, right?
There are many hassles which come with our periods, but stress over its environmental impact needn’t be one of them. It seems like there’s little we can do to reduce our period footprint – because we’re used to the same products and brands, but times are changing.
Companies are cottoning on to the fact that many of us are seeking eco-alternatives to the standard tampon. So now, it’s more important than ever to invest in reusable, plastic-free products to cut your period’s footprint.
DAME have recently introduced their reusable tampon applicator, to reduce the number of single-use products which go to landfill. The applicator comes in a handy pouch which can be kept in a handbag, gym bag, or desk drawer; it’s used in the same way as a regular applicator, but it’s washed after use, to be used again later.
Menstrual cups, like Intimina, are also becoming more popular as an alternative to both tampons and towels. It’s inserted in the same way as a tampon, but collects the liquid rather than absorbing it. This means is can then be tipped down the loo, washed, and reused.
If you want to stick with a regular sanitary towel, buy a few reusable, washable ones from Cheeky Wipes. These work the same way as disposable towels, but they’re plastic-free and can be washed and used time after time.