Looking for a reusable, plastic-free, zero-waste, eco-friendly period product? Here's everything you need to know!
Periods are rubbish (miracle of life aside, of course!) But did you know that periods create a whole lot of rubbish too? Here are some shocking facts we found out about single-use period products and some of the best reusable, eco-friendly menstrual products.
Firstly, we did a little bit of maths ourselves:
The average person who bleeds uses 4 plastic, single use pads a day on average.
The average period lasts for approximately 5 days
Thats 240 single use, plastic pads going into landfill each year!
Let's take it one step further: the average person has periods for 45 years during their life, so how many single use pads in a lifetime?
Just IMAGINE that! A football pitches worth of plastic pads going into landfill.
If that's not enough to make you wince, here are some more facts we've found:
In the UK Around 2.5 million tampons, 1.4 million pads and 700,000 panty liners are flushed every single day. - City To Sea
When you flush a pad or tampon down the loo, in order for us to still have access to drinking water, someone or something has to remove it. Or, if it doesn't get removed, they can end up in the ocean and can be incredibly toxic to sea life.
200,000 tonnes of menstrual waste is landfilled each year in the UK. - City To Sea
That's the same weight as 40,000 elephants!
A pack of conventional pads can contain up to five plastic bags worth of plastic - Natracare
What are my options?
In recent years, as we've become far more aware of the impact of our plastic waste, we're seeing so many more reusable period products becoming far more readily available. Here are some of the most popular, zero-waste options for reusable menstrual products:
Reusable Menstrual Pads are the most familiar looking and perhaps the least intimidating reusable period option, as they look just like regular pads. They're perfect for people who want to move to a more sustainable period but feel daunted by options like menstrual cups.
Our menstrual pads are 100% plastic-free, zero-waste, eco-friendly and even biodegradable. They are handmade from cotton and bamboo which makes them super soft and super absorbent. The improved design means they are even more secure and leakproof. Just use like any other period pad and then wash in your normal laundry - to avoid staining, pre rinse in cold water (never hot) as soon as possible after use, to wash out excess blood, then add to laundry. It is always best to not allow your pad to dry out before washing to minimise staining.
Menstrual cups seem to be the marmite of the reusable period products family - people either LOVE them or are terrified of them. I can tell you I'm on 'Team LOVE them' and here's why:
Menstrual cups are small, soft, silicone cups that are inserted like a tampon and sit just below the cervix to catch the blood. They can seem scary at first and will take multiple attempts to get confident with but once you get used to them, they really are a period game-changer!
Unlike tampons, there isn't the risk of toxic shock as they don't 'suck out' moisture. Because of this, you can leave a menstrual cup in for up to 12 hours!
They are commonly made of medical-grade silicone, rubber, latex or elastomer but they can last up to 10 years; so they're fantastic when it comes to reducing single-use plastic waste. But unfortunately, if you want an entirely plastic-free period then menstrual cups might not be for you.
Click HERE to head over to Healthline for more info on how to use them.
For many of us, a lot of period products can feel uncomfortable or cumbersome and we'd rather go without if we could! If this is you then period pants could be the option for you.
They are made to feel like regular underwear but with multiple layers of specialist fabrics sewn into the gusset which will absorb and lock in the blood. In terms of what they're made from, its often usually a mix of bamboo, cotton or merino wool or synthetic fibres like PUL - so its worth looking into one that is right for you.
There are many different brands out there and most will offer a range of styles and absorbencies, even period swimwear!
Interlabial Pad's are perfect for helping direct the flow of your period - great for those of us with heavier flows in particular!
If you find that your period often leaks in the same places (off the back of your pad for example) by popping these pads between your labia they can guide your flow back onto the pad. Either roll or fold and place between your labia and the tear drop shape of the pad will help direct your flow. They're also suitable for mild incontinence.
Our interlabial pads are handmade from super soft, comfortable, wicking hemp and are eco-friendly, plastic-free and biodegradable.
If you're interested in all things plastic-free, take a look at our Plastic Free July collection!