A period may have once only been thought of as a woman’s issue, but nowadays it’s an environmental problem, too.
In the UK, on average, women use over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in a lifetime.
As a result, these single-use plastics and harmful chemicals are polluting the planet.
However, one organisation hoping to raise awareness of this problem is the Women’s Environmental Network.
Their second annual Environmenstrual Week Of Action will run from the 12th-19th October.
The event (on 16th October) encourages women and people who menstruate to try a plastic-free period.
Guests can expect stalls, a period art gallery, take part in interactive taster workshops such as; vulva making and pad making.
Plus, there are guest speakers including Natalie Fee, founder of City of Sea, Mandu Reid, founder of The Cup Effect and also Natalie Bryne, author of the book, Period.
The event is at Amnesty International UK in London and tickets are available here.
Natasha Piette-Basheer, environmenstrual campaign manager says: “We are really excited about
this year’s Environmenstrual Week of Action. There is real momentum for change.
Sainsbury’s has recently announced the removal of plastic tampon applicators from its own
range. But we need more manufacturers to come on board and for people to shop with
their feet, by trying reusable period products”
Why go plastic-free?
It has been estimated that up to 90 per cent of a menstrual pad and 6 per cent of a tampon is plastic.
Consequently, this produces more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per yearwhich ends up on landfills.
But it’s not just plastic that is the issue. Non-organic menstrual products are made from cotton sprayed with chemical pesticides which not only have a detrimental effect on workers producing cotton, but pesticide residues have been found in menstrual pads and tampons.
Want to do your bit?
Try a menstrual cup
Reducing the need for the countless period wear products, this genius innovation means you just need one item to see you through your cycle. You tightly fold the menstrual cup and insert it like a tampon. You can do this in a squat position, sitting on the toilet, or however else you feel comfortable. Once you feel like it’s full, or it’s been 12 hours, simply remove. Empty it into the toilet, rinse with soap and water – then it’s ready to be popped back in.
Invest in period underwear
Dislike wearing pads and tampons all together? Don’t wear any at all! There are a wealth of brands specialising in period-proof underwear which means the clever, breathable fabric absorbs all the blood. Don’t assume they must be huge or bulky either, as they look and feel like regular underwear yet hold up to four tampons’ worth of blood. Afterwards simply wash and reuse for a sustainable way to get through your menstrual cycle.
Choose plastic-free tampons
If you swear by tampons, DAME are a great sustainable brand whose hero product is their reusable tampon applicator, namelyD by DAME. By swapping to this sustainable alterative, you’ll be saving up to 12,000 disposable tampon applicators. It’s made from medical grade sanipolymers that keep it hygienic, as well as being BPA-free, leak-free and designed to last for years.