How Much Plastic is in Our Period Products?

In 2020, many of us want to live more sustainably and a major concern is the consumption of single-use plastics. In fact, around 45% of shoppers are actively seeking products that are better for the environment. For many this means ditching plastic bags, water bottles and coffee cups, but what about our period products?

Unfortunately, single-use plastic is an unbearably common feature in many disposable period products. From plastic tampon applicators to layers of plastic in pads, it can be hard to be eco-conscious while menstruating.

Particularly as much of the plastic in these products is as a result of major companies innovating to make our periods quieter, more discreet and much more convenient. From individual plastic wrappers to scented bags for disposal, these products can contain up to 90% plastic that takes over 500 years to break down.

In a lifetime, the average menstruator will use in excess of 10,000 products, many of which will be thrown away or flushed. These items, such as tampon applicators, will end up littering our beaches after making the journey through the sewers and out to sea after improper disposal. Period products are the fifth most common type of plastic waste found on Europe’s beaches.

Part of the problem is that disposable products have been advertised to us for so long, and from an early age, as the de facto way to manage your menstruation. They offer us an ease and convenience that means they quickly become part of our routines without us stopping to properly question the impact of these products on our environment and if there is a better way. 

While there are many reusable products on the market and an increasing number of low or no-plastic disposable options available, these products often come with a heftier price tag or require more pre-planning to use them effectively.

How can we tackle the excess plastic in our period products?

As a consumer you can make a choice to buy and try reusable options such as cups and period underwear, sending your vote to the industry that you want change. There are also increasing numbers of options in many major retailers for low or no plastic pads and tampons. If you can afford to make these changes you can support the growing eco-period industry and reduce your individual impact too. 

But this is not all! Making the world a better place is not just down to the choices of individual consumers. Major retailers need to address the use of single-use plastic in their products and through the amazing work of campaigners such as Ella Daish, companies are beginning to wake up to the devastating effect of single-use plastic on the environment, moving to change the design and packaging of their products making it easier and more affordable for consumers to make eco-friendly choices. 

So, are the tides finally changing on single-use plastic in period products, or are they still full of used tampon applicators?

Why not join me today and pledge to reduce the amount of single-use plastic in your period products, or better yet sign Ella Daish’s petition to make all menstrual products plastic-free!

One response to “How Much Plastic is in Our Period Products?”

  1. Sebastian Manhart Avatar
    Sebastian Manhart

    Really important article. Some of the statistics are really shocking. Thanks for sharing and hopefully it will help move the needle in the right direction.


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