Our guide to a plastic free sustainable period
There are so many sustainable alternatives to everyday essentials now which is fantastic to see, yet what is more essential every month for us women than sanitary/period products?! A truth none of us care for but a reality nonetheless!
It’s estimated that us women get through roughly 32 products PER period amounting to approximately 200kgs (11,000‐16,000 tampons and pads) of waste in each individual lifetime either going to landfills or down the toilet and 200,000 tonnes worldwide. Menstrual products can take up to 1000 years to break down based on research similar to plastic bags, meaning your periods will live on and on and on causing havoc beyond the pesky period pains!
We wanted to put together a quick guide on how you can make your period more sustainable and kinder to the planet and yourselves. We know everyone has different needs, different flows and different lifestyles that require different products and we hope this will offer a solution to suit you and your period.
Let’s start with what we all know and are familiar with… THE TAMPON. In this case it’s the sustainable tampon that offers you an Eco-friendly, healthy and kind alternative to the conventional toxic tampon...yes toxic! Did you know that the tampons we are familiar with and see in pretty much every supermarket and beauty store worldwide are typically made up of a mix of rayon, polyester and non-organic cotton that can be harmful to your vagina and body! We have selected a couple of our favourite UK based companies that offer sustainable and biodegradable tampons that put you first!
ohne made of 100% organic cotton and absolutely nothing else - ohne really care about your vagina offering period and cycle-care products delivered direct to your door, whenever you need 'em, and a community of like-minded babes at your fingertips - literally. ohne stock regular, super, and super+ tampons and you can mix n' match your box to get exactly the number of each absorbency that you want when you want it, whether that’s every 4 weeks or 7, they have you covered. ohne focus on being a community and In their own words ‘ohne are there for you throughout your entire cycle, not just the five or so days a month that you're bleeding from your vagina’
Grace & Green is made from 100% organic ingredients that put safety first. Committed to women’s health, the environment, and tackling period poverty, Grace & Green have really focused on the science behind healthy sustainable periods and put the planet and you first. With products including liners, pads, non-applicator tampons and applicator tampons and the option for both a subscription service for ease of use or one time purchases as and when you need, they really have ensured hassle free and healthy periods.
THE MENSTRUAL CUP:
The menstrual cup is really a unique alternative to the more common sanitary products we are perhaps more familiar with yet millions of women around the world swear by them and have made the switch from pads and tampons permanently so we wanted to investigate the hype and give this product some valid air time! Put simply, it is a little cup that you insert into your vagina to collect the blood and after 4-8 hours (depending on your flow) you simply empty the cup into a toilet or sink and wash it out, then insert it again - easy peasy.
Here are a couple of our recommended brands:
Mooncup® - Made from soft, medical-grade silicone this cup has been designed so you won't even know it’s there! The Mooncup holds 3 x more than a regular tampon, so it gives you longer lasting protection on heavier days + it’s non-absorbent, so won’t
cause dryness when your period’s light. Arguably the best thing about the Mooncup is that it will last for years and years meaning you dramatically reduce the waste you produce. Their sizing is also super easy to navigate with Size A for those who are 30 and over + anyone who has given birth vaginally, Size B is for those who are under 30 and haven’t given birth vaginally -simple.
The Mooncup is manufactured in the UK to the highest quality standards. They also also offer an advice service run by medical health professionals to help you make the switch and given the recent news about the potential negative effects of using a menstrual cup, Mooncup has given information about this - here
OrganiCup mission is, besides being as sustainable as possible, to make products for and with the people who use them. They are committed to honest, simple and transparent communication and try to create a community where you feel secure to ask questions and talk freely about periods and your body. Offering all of the sustainable benefits that come with a menstrual cup, OrganiCup have also gone the extra mile as they use recyclable carton for the packaging and we have printed the instructions directly onto the packaging to eliminate additional waste from a brochure and the storage bag is made from organic cotton. Win win win.
Not really a tampon or cup kinda girl and prefer pads? No problem, we are all different but did you know pads actually contain more plastic than tampons with an estimated 5 plastic bags worth for every pack!Don’t worry though as there are sustainable solutions to this with both biodegradable pads and period pants! Period pants are pretty much what they say on the tin, pants that are super absorbent and can be relied on during your period without the need for pads or tampons. For the days you just want complete comfort without any faff, these are certainly the answer & don’t worry they’re very hygienic!
WUKA, which stands for Wake Up Kick Ass is a company that allows you to have a comfortable, Eco-friendly, and secure period ensuring you will no longer need to buy pads and tampons every month (Phew) . With WUKA, you have the convenience of having reusable pants in your draw, so when you start to bleed, you can grab a pair and carry on with your day and save money in the process! WUKA care about their customers and their periods and have listened to what girls and women want which is why they have provided us with period pants that care for both you and the environment simultaneously. Their pants were also the first to be vegan certified! Win
MODIBODY are a really sweet brand who offer both protective, leak-proof apparel, underwear & swimwear for periods but also incontinence. They are on a mission to give all bodies more confidence and comfort, as well as a more sustainable solution to disposable hygiene.
What we particularly love about Modibodi is that they offer a range for active people that want to work out confidently and not worry about their time of the month or any embarrassing leaks not to mention they offer odor eliminating technologies which we could certainly all use after a good workout!
REUSABLE TAMPON APPLICATOR:
Such an amazing idea and really does help conclude this post that there is a sustainable option out there for everyone! We actually did a beach clean recently in Devon and found a few tampon applicators so understand how bad this problem is! There is now a solution to this problem with the first reusable tampon applicator by DAME. This little applicator made from Mediprene easily and comfortably inserts a tampon meaning you can continue life as normal knowing that every period you have is more sustainable and planet friendly!
Something for everyone - Save Our Seas.
DISCLAIMER - We understand period poverty is an incredibly real and distressing issue. & we are only suggesting considering different period products if you have the means to do so.