Did you know you could be unknowingly contributing to plastic waste, simply by having a period? Yes, it turns out your period product of choice could be up to 90% plastic, which is equivalent to four plastic shopping bags in just one pad. Tampons come wrapped in plastic, encased in plastic applicators, with plastic strings dangling from one end, and many even include a thin layer of plastic in the absorbent part. As you can guess none of this can be recycled for sanitary reasons. So these products usually end up in a landfill where they take around 500-800 years to break down into microplastics or they invade our oceans and shores.
So what do we do? Thankfully there are many alternatives now for any type of period:
🏵️Organic Biodegradable Tampons and Pads – made from natural materials ( organic cotton, bamboo, cellulose ), which can be composted.
🏵️Menstrual Cup – they are made out of medical grade silicone (a man-made polymer that doesn’t biodegrade, but can easily be recycled) or natural rubber. Worn inside the body, they form a vacuum around the cervix and collect up to three times as much blood as a pad. They need emptying every twelve hours and last for up to ten years. Talk about good value for money! Yes, they look a little bit weird ( as portrayed in the comics ) and it takes some patience to get used to inserting them correctly. But as long as you choose your size, this can be a very comfortable option.
🏵️Reusable Fabric Pads – haven’t personally tried those, but I assume you wear them as regular pads, but then just wash them and use them again instead of throwing them away. Seems very nice from a financial point of view, doesn’t it?
🏵️Period Underwear – I invested in some period panties half a year ago and it is my favorite thing in the world! They are so comfortable! It seemed strange at first to just bleed into your underwear, but they are constructed in a way, so that they have a layer on top to make you feel dry and cosy. At the end of their shift ( 12 hours ) you just wash them and put on a fresh pair.
Have you tried any of these alternatives? Do you have a favorite? I’ll be happy to hear your personal experience in the comments below.💃