Written by Hayley Bromfield • Published 30th July 2019 • 7 minute read

Women aren’t aware of the impact regular sanitary products have on the environment. 45 billion tampons are used annually across the globe which results in 3.2 million kgs of waste and according to Change to Green, regular tampons take around 500 years to degrade. In addition, plastic from packaging and tampon applicators that are not able to be recycled break down into microplastics – pieces smaller than your little fingernail. These make their way into our waterways and eventually into our meals. Earth Day state that every minute, a bin lorry worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean.

But it’s not just about plastic, the chemicals within sanitary products are often bad for your body as chemicals can be absorbed through your skin and go straight into the bloodstream.

Considering all this, women should make attempts to swap to more sustainable products. Even if you are not quite ready to ditch tampons, you could invest in a reusable applicator and organic cotton tampons instead. There are many sustainable sanitary products emerging on the market as environmental awareness increases all over the world, so we are looking at the different options available to you.

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups have been around since the 1930s but have recently come to people’s attention along with environmental awareness. The cups massively reduce the waste produced from your period. They are generally made from medical grade silicon, as opposed to the original rubber cup, and can collect blood for up to 12 hours, depending on the brand.

Mooncup® are the Tampax® of all menstrual cups. They created the first medical grade silicone menstrual cup in the world. The cups are clear because Mooncup® did not want to add any artificial colourings. Not only is the Mooncup a great way of being sustainable, it’s also a good way to save money, as you can keep it for up to six to eight months and you won’t need to spend money on anything else.

 

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Ever wondered why we don’t make the Mooncup in different colours? Read our ‘less is more’ ethos below for further info… The Mooncup is made from natural un-pigmented silicone. We have chosen to avoid adding food colourings or pigments that may compromise the health, ethical and environmental benefits of the Mooncup®. A transparent cup can also really help in clearly observing your flow. THE MOONCUP ETHOS: LESS IS MORE As consumers, we are always being encouraged to buy more products and told that we should replace those we already own with new ones. The Mooncup gives you the chance to step out of the cycle of consumerism in at least one area of your life – and this is one of the reasons that so many love the product. We believe adding colour to the Mooncup would make something beautifully simple into something unnecessarily complicated. We also think the Mooncup looks rather nice just the way it is.

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The collaboration Monki X Lunette X The Cup released a menstrual cup in the effort to end period stigma, going by the slogan “Periods are cool. Period”. 5000 of their menstrual cups will be donated to underprivileged girls in Kenya who do not have the access to menstrual care and education surrounding menstruation through The Cup Foundation. The cup comes in two sizes for light and heavy flow and is now available in Monki stores and online.

The Organic Cup is free of bleach, perfume, glue, lotion and basically anything else that should not be going into your body. The organic cup has won “Product of the Year” twice and claims that a cup should last you up to 10 years. Their website gives in-depth detail on how to use a menstrual cup, including a video showing demonstrations with models. The brand also runs community projects and works with organisations. An example of some of Organic Cup’s work is an initiative called Taboo which explores the implications women and girls face across the world when they have their periods. Questions such as: why are girls in Nepal not allowed to leave their huts when they are menstruating? Why do girls in Africa miss school for their periods?

Lingerie and Reusable Sanitary Towels

Absorbent underwear has now been developed as an alternative to sanitary products like tampons, cups and pads.

Modibodi is offering period underwear using high quality, tech-savvy fabrics to allow breathing to get a lighter feel. There is a range of styles and colours depending on your menstrual flow. They have recently added a new patent-pending Modifier Swim Technology to wear in the water, something no other brands have done so far.

 

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“Candid chats about your period. I don’t remember ever feeling comfortable sitting on a friends couch when I had my period. I would always feel like I had to sit in some rigid position just in case I leaked (and yes it’s happened 😳). Heavy periods cause so much anxiety and discomfort. I was always worried about my periods and never felt protected with disposable sanitary items. #Modibodi has had such a positive impact on my period. Gone are the days of sitting at someone’s house like I have a stick up my butt. I can trust that these undies will do their job and allow me to get on with my girls nights.” We love you @theheatpackclub – and you both look amazing in your Sensual Hi-Waist undies 💕

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Cheeky wipes sell both period pants and sanitary towels that can be washed and reused. Their pads come in all sorts of bold colours and patterns and do up around you briefs with a popper. Just like regular pads, they offer different sizes and pads for day and night, just without the chemicals and waste!

Tampons 

If you can’t bear the thought of wearing anything other than the classic tampon, then there are still more sustainable ways than your regular options. You could buy organic cotton tampons with no applicator or cardboard biodegradable applicators, this way the damage left on the planet is a lot less.

Or if you prefer the smoothness of a plastic applicator, Dame has recently released a reusable tampon applicator called the D. Dame also produce organic tampons to use inside the applicator and neat storage bags and tins for them. This year the brand has just saved their first 100 million pieces of plastic!


If you have a sustainable women’s health product and you want to gain more exposure in the UK media landscape, get in contact with our award-winning PR team today.