The average menstruation will use more than 11,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime. This could amount up to £18,450 spent on products in a lifetime. Not only does this work out as incredibly expensive, but menstrual products can be extremely damaging to the environment.
Period pads can contain up to 90% plastic. With the average person throwing away 200kg worth of waste in their lifetime, there are over 200,000 tonnes worth of period product waste a year in the UK.
With more awareness around waste and the environment, more products are being designed to help reduce the environmental impact whilst also ensuring that you are comfortable whilst menstruating. Here are some of the products that we have found that you could use.
Reusable pads can come in lots of different shapes and sizes, and there are plenty on the market to try. The pads should be rinsed after use, and then popped in with the rest of your laundry. They are durable, which means that with proper care should last many years.
Some brands you could try are Bloom & Nora, Earthwise Girls and Honour Your Flow.
Period underwear is designed to replace tampons and towels, absorbing blood whilst allowing the wearer to feel comfortable. Period pants come in all shapes and sizes, and if looked after can last for years. The pants should be rinsed with cold water after use, and then depending on brand can be washed as normal.
Many brands now offer period pants, including Primark and Marks and Spencers.
A menstrual cup is a small, foldable, reusable device made from silicone, rubber or plastic that collects, rather than absorbs, the menstrual blood. They come in different sizes and designs, and some can be trimmed to help with comfort. The product is rinsed and can be reused. With proper care, cups can last for years.
Some popular brands of Menstrual Cups include Mooncup and OrganiCup.
Best Menstrual Cups
Eco Friendly Products
If you aren’t looking to move away from sanitary towels and tampons, then you could look at making the switch to more eco friendly products. These could include bamboo pads or paperless tampons. As well as being better for the environment, they are filled with less chemicals and are more natural.
Eco friendly pad brands include Flo and Natracare, and you can get environmentally friendly tampons such as Totm and Ohne.
Statistics from Women's Environment Network