Taboos, Trash and Tampons

Let’s talk about periods.

I don’t want to cramp your style and bring up periods, but don’t ‘overy’act, they’re natural. Just go with the flow, and read on. Ok, ok I’ll stop…menstrual puns are bloody annoying, period.

I have been on a bit of a journey with plastic waste over the last year or two. I have reduced the plastic in my food shopping, and even toiletries… I started making my own toothpaste which I never thought I would do! This was all because I saw the enormous impact that my life was having on the planet. But there was one bit of plastic that I was rather attached to every month…literally.

Did you know that the average woman will use more than 11,000 disposable sanitary items in a lifetime? Each year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of globally. Many of these end up in our oceans or in landfill as the majority of sanitary pads contain 90% plastic and backing strips, applicators and wrappers are not biodegradable. One pack of normal sanitary pads is made from the same amount of plastic as four carrier bags!

In one day, Ocean Conservation volunteers collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on our world’s beaches. ONE DAY!

1.5 billion items of sanitary protection are flushed every year

A) this is gross, I want to walk on the beach to experience another kind of ‘mother nature’ B) this is having a HUGE impact on our planet! In the decade we have produced more plastic than during the whole of the last century. And C) period products are not exactly cheap. On average people will spend over £1,500 on disposable products in their life (…and that’s not taking into account the cost of buying painkillers or chocolate). Over £70 of that is tax, but I’ll leave that argument for another time…

So, while I was using and throwing away all this plastic every month…little did I know there were some amazing alternatives!

Enter… the mooncup.

The mooncup is an alternative to disposable sanitary products. It is reusable; you only need one. And it is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! You simply re-use it every month and then wash it clean. It’s as simple as that. It’s arguably the most environmentally friendly option for dealing with your monthly friend.

Many may think that it’s weird, messy or unhygienic but maybe it’s time we ticked the tampon tax in the rear and used our period as an opportunity to show large companies that we care about the planet, through all aspects of our lives.

Menstrual cups have been around for over 70 years, however were mostly contained to ‘hippy’ health shops…I certainly never heard of them growing up. But their growing popularity of means that are now available in most boots stores or a variety of shops online.

So, to everyone, I challenge you to think about the plastic that you might use and throw away without giving it much thought. And ladies, check out some alternatives to plastic period products you might be using each month. There are so many options such as reusable pads…but seriously, mooncup is amazing.

If you need any more convincing, here’s the argument in the form of a rap battle! What more could you ask for?!

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