4 Options For A Plastic-Free Period
For many women, the thought of deviating away from their regular period products can be quite intimidating. Trying something new, especially something that is so intimately integrated with your body, can be a daunting thing. If you, like me, grew up using one typical brand or style of product, swapping to something completely new may be something you feel pretty hesitant about. Luckily, the brands below offer several great options for people wanting to make a swap towards sanitary products that are both better for the environment and better for their bodies.
Whilst the options below are wonderful eco-friendly alternatives for those that can afford them, it’s important to remember they may not be options that are realistic for everyone due to cost or (in the case of the mooncup) access to the necessary sanitary conditions.
Something to be mindful of is that many people do not have access to sanitary products at all. Period poverty is an issue affecting women all over the world, including the UK. 2017 statistics showed that one in ten girls (10 per cent) were at some point unable to afford sanitary wear, which is a staggering amount. Many females simply have to go without any products during their period, which can be limiting for them when it comes to day-to-day tasks such as attending school or work. Others, who may be able to afford some form of product, often need to carefully consider costs when it comes to choosing a brand. It’s important to remind ourselves that not everyone has the luxury of being able to make more eco-friendly choices.
Below are a few charities in the UK tackling this issue, if you would like to find out more.
Ohne make 100% organic cotton tampons that are delivered straight to your door. They cater specifically to the needs of your individual period, allowing you to select the number, size and style of tampons that are going to suit you best. They offer tampons with and without an applicator, which is great, and they all come completely plastic free! You can sign up to a monthly subscription with them or (as they describe it) ‘have an open relationship’, making this an option that’s available to those who may not have regular monthly periods. The products themselves are beautifully packaged and work in exactly the same way as any standard brand, minus all the horrible toxins! Swapping over to these tampons is a great first step towards a more eco-friendly period as the only difference you’ll really notice is never having to rush to the shop to buy an emergency stash ever again! You should most definitely check out their social media too as Ohne is on it when it comes to great female friendly content. A box of applicator tampons costs £6.80 for up to 24, inclusive of shipping. https://ohne.co/
Thinx design washable, reusable underwear that absorbs your period for a more sustainable alternative to single-use menstrual products. These pants can replace your regular tampons / liners / pads or can be worn in unison with them for some extra protection. They are worn just like normal knickers and come in a large selection of styles and sizes, so you can find a pair that fit your body and suit your flow. Not convinced? I was sceptical at first too but these pants are widely reviewed and receive incredibly positive acclaim across the board. Their website has a great deal of information about how the underwear is made and how is works so check that out if you’re curious. The underwear is clearly categorised by flow, so you can make sure you’re picking the right style for each stage of your period. These are not cheap, at approx £30 a pair, however considering they can be used over and over again, they are sure to save you money in the long run! https://www.shethinx.com/
3. Reusable pads
Smartliners is a Canadian brand ‘out to change the feminine hygiene landscape’. They want to ensure that women have a healthy and eco-friendly alternative to the typical products available, offering a range of washable and reusable organic cotton pads and liners. Their products can last up to 5 years, meaning you cut down on a huge amount of waste that would otherwise be caused by single-use products. The pads cost around £12 per pad which may seem steep at first glance but when you consider the cost per pad of disposable products over the space of 5 years, you quickly realise this is a very cost effective choice for those who are able to spend the money upfront. The pads are simple and comfortable to use and easy to clean, making this one of the most accessible options out there when it comes to swapping to an eco-friendly period product. For those in the UK you can purchase these through Plastic Freedom. www.plasticfreedom.co.uk
The final option on my list is a Mooncup. Menstrual cups can be a wonderful way to have a waste-free period and can be a really convenient way of managing your cycle. Mooncup is the original, soft, medical-grade silicone menstrual cup designed by women as a handy, safe and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads, however there are countless cup brands available out there so this is by no means your only option. This is last on my list simply as it may be the most initially intimidating option. If you’ve never used a cup before it’s a really good idea to do a bit of research beforehand. There is so much great content online (and on Mooncup’s website) showing you how to insert, use and clean your cup in a safe and comfortable way. I would say that the more you know, the less intimidating this will feel! It may take a few tries to get this right, so I would encourage you to ease into the Mooncup at a gentle pace, perhaps trying it with a pair of Thinx for your first few cycles until you’re confident everything is in place. The cup holds up to 3x as much as regular tampon and lasts for years, so is a great investment at approx £22. https://www.mooncup.co.uk/
Please note that this is not a sponsored post.