Did you know, in your beautiful reproductive lifetime you will use an average of 11,000 disposable menstrual products?
This amount of menstru-waste results in 200,000 tonnes of pads, tampons and panty liners chucked into UK landfills every year alone.
Initially, I didn’t consider this to be a major problem. I thought they were just cotton and would decompose easily. That was until I found out that those 200,000 tonnes are actually mostly made of plastic, which takes centuries to decompose.
The average tampon or pad is made up of a range of thermoplastics, which doesn’t sound as lovely or as comfortable as the popular national brands would like you to believe.
Lil-Lets, for example, acknowledge on their website that their products are made of polyethylene and polypropylene. Always, alternatively claim they are made up of mysterious Polyolefins, which after some scientific research is actually just a term for the family of thermoplastics that polyethylene and polypropylene belong to. Perhaps they use the term Polyolefins because it is a more ambiguous and less recognisable for the consumer to realise that they are all just made of plastics.
- Why do we mind that these products are mostly made of plastics? Because plastics take 500 years to decompose.
That means the remains of your period will outlast your life for half a millennia!
It’s great to have an impact on the world that spans generations, but this is one of the worst ways to do so!
Menstrual waste accounts for just 0.5% of all personal waste. So many argue that this amount is inconsequential. However, if every woman who has the opportunity to, chooses something reusable or biodegradable for their monthly protection, the global impact would be awesome and awe-inspiring!
But what can you use instead?
We are very lucky, as feminine hygiene products are finally evolving with the times and lots of start-ups are bringing exciting new products to market. What’s more, these businesses are often lead by ethically conscious leaders, which means when you purchase your alternatives you aren’t just helping the environment but you are also helping our sisterhood.
But don’t worry…
These new products aren’t just for Zen-earth-mothers but are practical solutions for the everyday modern woman.
Cloth Sanitary Pads
These days you can purchase reusable cloth sanitary pads in all kinds of gorgeous fabrics from tonnes of independent businesses online. Normally made with pretty prints, cotton or bamboo materials with a soft lining. Users claim they are way more comfortable and pretty than their plastic-fantastic alternatives.
Crafty women with sewing machines can even make them at home. The Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) provide a free template on how to make them.
Just a cool water rinse or chuck them in the washing machine and you have a cute long-lasting solution.
Mooncups … really?
You may have also read about Mooncups, they are considered the most extreme choice for new converts. However, almost all users give them 5-star reviews! They work like a tampon but are made of long-lasting and hygienic silicone. The cup is inserted and catches all your flow, which you can then take out, rinse and reuse. They can be left in all day and the silicon is less harsh and more flexible for our sensitive lady gardens than the plastic combinations found in mainstream and dated tampons. With care, most cups can last up to 5 years as well.
If the thought of cleaning your reusable items seems less than appealing, there is a very straightforward alternative that can also be delivered straight to your door.
The easiest alternative…
Yoppie provide 100% organic cotton and biodegradable tampons, which are delivered straight to your door in time for your period every month!
This way you won’t have to dash to the supermarket to buy emergency plastic alternatives and you will always have a well-stocked supply that will biodegrade within 5 years. This is fantastic by comparison to the half millennia of the nationally recognised brand names!
An added bonus with Yoppie is that every month you buy a box; they donate a month’s worth of period products to girls and women in need. Such donations help keep girls in school, giving them the opportunity to empower themselves!
The menstrual marketplace is growing and there are more and more options for us out there, and more ways to protect the environment along the way.
Whatever you choose, you can help save the world with your period. Period.