How to Have a Plastic Free Period
In our modern world, a plastic free period is totally possible and easy. In fact, many people say that they prefer plastic free period products to conventional ones. For me, certainly there’s no going back.
Why switch to plastic free period products?
Have you considered how much plastic is generated from period products? These products are packaged in plastic, contain plastic themselves, and are then often thrown away into a plastic bag-lined waste bin.
Sanitary applicators actually rank as the fifth most common single use plastic that washes up on Europe’s beaches, making them more common than coffee cups, straws, and cutlery. Moreover, The Guardian states that an estimated “700,000 panty liners, 2.5m tampons and 1.4m sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day in the UK.”
Moreover, have you ever thought about what your tampons or pads are made from? Frustratingly, manufacturer’s of many single use products aren’t legally obliged to disclose this information, so even if you pushed for answers it would be hard to find out. Campaign for Safe Cosmetics cites potential risks such as exposure to dioxins, bleach, pesticides, and chemical fragrances. Considering that we don’t yet know the full extent of the effect of microplastics on the human body, this is a health issue as much as it is an environmental issue.
Ready to make the switch to plastic free period products? Then keep reading for a complete list of all the options.
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Reusable Period Cups
While a tampon absorbs blood, the cup collects it. Period cups are small and flexible. First, they’re inserted internally and sit right below the cervix. Once inside, you cannot feel them at all and you can go up to 12 hours between emptying the cup! This is a game changer for people with periods. Naturally, there’s an adjustment period as you learn how to use them, but within a few cycles you become a pro! There are a ton of options on the market. I recommend the following:
Moon Cup – This is the first and only menstrual cup brand that I’ve bought from. It’s much more comfortable than the texture of cotton and saved me incredible amounts of money over the last 7 years. Use it for up to 8 hours. It’s totally plastic free, look after it well and it will last you many happy years!
Lily Cup – This cup is uniquely shaped, designed to fit the natural shape of the body seamlessly. It features a no spill rim and can be left inserted for up to 12 hours.
Saalt Cup – The Saalt cup is made of soft silicone and can be used for up to 12 hours. Its bell shape makes it easy to insert and open, so it’s ideal for beginners.
Plastic Free Reusable Pads
Reusable pads are just like regular pads, but they’re made of fabric. They feature a button snap to keep them in place, rather than the stick on wings of the traditional version. Reusable pads are a great place to start if the cup feels a bit intimidating. Although you might not see them on the shelf next to the conventional products, there’s loads of options from small and large companies. These are just a couple examples:
Heart Felt – These pads are super soft, moisture wicking, and are even good for overnight use!
Plastic Free Period Pants
Period pants hold up to 5 tampons worth of liquid. That works out to about 2.5 regular pads or 45 ml. Choose from lower absorbency options all the way up to the most absorbent based on where you are in your cycle. Of course, they’re made of super absorbent and moisture wicking material, so you feel dry and don’t have to worry about leaks or odors. A few of my favorite brands are:
Wuka – Wuka’s signature material is carbon neutral and softer than cotton.
Thinx – Choose from thongs, high rise, boyshorts, and sleep shorts.
Modibodi – This brand offers options including seamless, vegan, and curvy – they even have swimwear!
Ready to drop your old products for a new plastic free period product? Leave a comment below with which product you’ll try first! If you’re ready to swap out your other bathroom products, check out my blog on shampoo and conditioner bars here.
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