by Sophie Hunter
What's Going On Here?
Sanitary pads, tampons and applicators, which nearly all contain high levels of plastic, are the fifth most common item found on Europe’s beaches. More widespread than single-use coffee cups, cutlery or straws.
What Does This Mean?
Nearly all mainstream period products contain plastic. Applicators are the obvious culprits, but tampons also contain microplastics, along-side harmful bleaching chemicals and most sanitary pads are 90% plastic.
Did you know the plastic content of one pack of pads is the equivalent to 5 plastic carrier bags?!
Campaigners are joining forces for an Enviromenstrual Week of Action from 12th-19th October to raise awareness and promote the switch to organic, plastic-free pads and tampons, or better still - cut the waste out altogether by using a menstrual cup or reusable pads or period pants.
Why Should We Care?
In the UK alone it’s estimated that nearly 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary pads are flushed down the toilet every day, contributing to an estimated £80 million in blockage costs.
It also results in nearly 5 pieces of menstrual waste being found every 100m along our beautiful British coastline, according to research by the Marine Conservation Society. But it’s not all doom and gloom! The surge of activism in this area now means there are many companies selling plastic-free alternatives. Also switching to reusables could be good for your pocket as well as the planet – a menstrual cup costs around £20 and lasts for 10 years, saving you £1,000s on monthly disposable products over your lifetime. Cha-ching!!
Check out the Enviromenstrual Week of Action for all the info you need or better yet attend the Enviromenstrual Festival happening in London on 16th October - An evening of workshops, stalls, art, talks, food and drink. Plus goodie bags with free products, including a menstrual cup!
See what the founders of the Week of Action, Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) have to say about plastic in period products here.
Fancy becoming a bit of an activist? You don’t even need to leave your sofa - write to or contact on social media manufacturers and retailers of conventional period products asking them to ditch the plastic. Find everything you need here.
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!