The environmental spotlight has been shining on period products over the last few years, and with good reason. The data around the plastic waste generated from single use period products is clear, but while eco-friendly alternatives to single use period products are on the rise, they are still far from being mainstream. We believe that a key reason for the lack of adoption is the misconceptions that surround reusable period care.
If you’re reading this, you have probably wondered about the environmental effects of traditional period care products, so here is some of the data that we found particularly eye-opening.
People use more than 11,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime.
Single use period products, tampons, pads and applicators generate 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, and that is just in the UK. With approximately 800 million women and girls menstruating everyday, that equates to an alarming amount of waste.
It has been estimated that 1.5-2 billion menstrual products are flushed down Britain’s toilets each year, leading to sewage blockages. If not filtered correctly these can also end up in rivers and coastal waters.
Most menstrual pads are made from 90% plastic, which can take up to a thousand years to decompose in landfills or in the ocean.
Figures from the Marine Conservation Society reveal 4 pads, panty liners and backing strips are found for every 100m of beach cleaned, along with 1.2 used tampons and applicators. That’s 4.8 pieces of menstrual waste on average per 100 metres of beach in the UK.
If you are thinking about making the switch to sustainable period care, such as a menstrual cup, then you are in safe hands. We fell in love with the menstrual cup as a product, and not just because of it’s eco-credentials. The financial benefits and convenience of using a reusable product (no more last minute dashes to the pharmacy or stockpiling tampons and pads in preparation for your period) are hard to ignore!
With proper cleaning and care, your Un cup will last for up to 5 years. One Un cup replaces thousands of single use tampons and pads along with the plastic packaging that these are wrapped in and the energy and materials used to create them.
Whichever product you ultimately decided to use we recommend remembering that the most important thing is what’s right for you and your body. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, you can slowly integrate products into your cycle as they feel right and small changes make big impacts.
The Un Company. Uncompromising, Uncomplicated Period Care