You take out a pad or tampon from its plastic or cardboard packaging and make your way to the bathroom. You unwrap it, toss the crinkly wrapper, and use the product. Just like that, waste has been generated. And it doesn’t just stop there. After a few hours, it’s time to change it out, so you dispose of the product and the plastic it contains. And the cycle continues.
According to ScienceDirect, it is estimated that in the United Kingdom alone, 28,114 tonnes of menstrual product waste is generated annually. This may seem like a shocking statistic, but when you take into consideration that we use 16 pads or tampons on average per cycle, it really does all add up.
You’re probably using disposable pads and tampons because it seems like the more affordable option, but if you think long term, one menstrual cup costing $30 will last you a decade while a pack of pads costing $5 will only last you about two cycles or so.
If you’re thinking of making the switch, we’ve rounded up some sustainable period products worth a try. Even better, many of these companies have set out to do good by fighting for menstrual equity, so with every purchase you are helping the good fight!