Best zero-waste alternatives for your period
It’s estimated that over 45 billion products related to periods, including tampons, pads and applicators, go to waste every year. And tampons make up a large part of that weight. The Ocean Conservancy collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in a single day in 2015.
Tampons are not recyclable and, despite knowing they shouldn’t, many people flush them down the toilet where they are likely to end up in waterways.
There’s always the option to use organic cotton tampons, of course, as they are technically compostable and biodegradable, but they’re incredibly slow to break down.
Applicators are the interesting bit; while cardboard applicators can often be recycled properly, plastic ones, wrapping, and packaging often can’t. A study in Stockholm found that one of the biggest environmental impacts of periods is the use of plastic applicators.
We know we can’t avoid having our periods (although, we wish sometimes, right?!), so what can we do about it? Well, there are options; our favourite is the Menstrual cup!
What is it? A menstrual cup is a medical-grade silicone cup that you insert into your vagina, where it collects blood throughout the day. You only have to empty it a couple of times per day into the toilet, rinse it with some soap, and re-insert. Easy right?
It takes a bit to get used to it, but once you do, it’s great!! And you can forget about spending money on pads and tampons every month. It costs between $30-$40 and it will last 10 years!