When it comes your period, the last thing on your mind tends to be ethics. Surrounded by sub-conscience thoughts of chocolate and period pains, sometimes the idea of sustainability can slip your mind – but that doesn’t mean it’s not important.
Standard sanitary products use a lot of plastic. Tampon and sanitary pads are usually covered with a layer of unnecessary thick plastic, which is non-biodegradable, non-recyclable, and end up in landfill. With most women having a monthly period, that’s a lot of plastic waste adding up.
The plastic doesn’t stop there. Most brands sell single-use sanitary products containing plastics, chemicals and fragrances, which all end up going in or near a very sensitive and important part of your body. These can cause irritation, and in some more severe cases, an allergic reaction. If it’s recommended to use fragrance-free products to wash down there, why is fragrance put into products we have no choice using!
You're not alone in having sustainability at the back of your mind when you start your period. Sub-conscious thoughts of an oncoming bout of pain and the enormity of chocolate you want to consume take over – but that doesn’t mean the enviroment isn't important to consider.
If you're lucky enough to afford period protection - according to Bodyform, 1 in 10 girls in the UK can't afford period products -and are looking for a change then we've compiled a list of our favourite eco-friendly alternatives.
Menstrual cups are a small, silicone cup, inserted like a tampon. The cup collects blood, rather than absorbing it. Washed between uses, the menstrual cup can be re-used every time you get your period. It was made to be convenient and eco-friendly.
Not for everyone, but great for those who are looking to reduce their waste and those who hate wearing tampons. Cloth pads are like regular pads, but instead, they’re fabric. You use them as you would a normal sanitary pad, but instead of disposing of them, you just, rinse, and pop in the wash.
Most tampon brands use plastic applicators, but there are a select few which have ditched the plastic! Instead, they’ve made the applicators cardboard, and the packaging paper. Despite still likely to end up in landfill, they will biodegrade much quicker than their plastic alternatives.
For those who want to wear nothing but still have that protection. There are plenty of options available depending on how heavy your period is and the style of pant you prefer. Although not the most glamorous knicker on the market, they are effective at providing the protection you need without the worry of changing your pad, tampon or menstrual cup. The pants can be worn all day long and just need a soft wash in your washing machine to be reused.
(If you want to try some period panties, but are unsure about the price. Use our dicount code: FULLYECO for 10% off at Flux.)
A lot of the brands mentioned above offer subscription services due to their online reliability. Subscribing may be cheaper in the long run so definitely consider it!
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*A previous version of this blog stated that using a Mooncup means you are not at risk of developing Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). This is inaccurate information and has been removed from the blog. Any internal female device can put users at risk of developing TSS. You can read more about TSS on the Mooncup blog.