09 November 2020

Taking the Plastic out of your Period

Taking the Plastic out of your Period

Katy Brennan

The average person uses roughly 11,000 pads or tampons in their lifetime, but have you ever considered reusable menstrual products?

Image for Katy article

Female menstruation is becoming an increasingly large burden for our environment. According to The Women’s Environmental Network, the average person uses roughly 11,000 pads or tampons in their lifetime. Couple this with the fact that these disposable products take up to 500 years to decompose and it becomes clear what a huge problem this. Like other single use plastics, we see them piling up in landfill and floating around the oceans- as well as washed up on our coastlines.

 

But have you ever considered reusable menstrual products?

 

Nowadays, more and more people are switching to reusable alternatives when it comes to coffee cups, water bottles, and shopping bags. But have you ever considered reusable menstrual products? These alternatives will not only reduce plastic waste, they’ll also save you money in the long run.

Reusable products could also serve as a solution to period poverty, something that remains a huge issue worldwide. Many women, such as those who are homeless or living direct provision, can be forced to choose between menstrual comfort and other basic needs. By donating reusable products to charities that help women in need, we can save them a monthly financial burden and provide an eco-friendly solution to the issue.

 

MonncupA 

 

Menstrual Cup

One of the most popular choices, menstrual cups are funnel shaped objects made from rubber or silicon, that are inserted into the vagina. They come in two sizes, usually for pre and post birth. The cup can be left in for up to eight hours and is capable of holding four tampons worth of blood. It is simply removed, emptied, rinsed and reinserted. You can purchase one for under €30 in most pharmacies. Sometimes a cup can take a little getting used to, but the general consensus is that they are comfortable and easy to use.

 

Reusable Pads

Reusable pads are another readily available and affordable alternative. As well as being breathable and softer, these material pads are free of the nasty chemicals that can be found in mainstream disposables. With different sizes depending on your flow, they are very absorbent and leak free, as long as they are changed every 4-6 hours. Most can be handwashed and machine washed at 40 degrees.

 

Period Underwear

According to leading period underwear brand 'Thinx', this product absorbs up to four tampons worth of blood, while feeling like normal underwear. They can replace pads or tampons or act as a backup for the above products. Depending on your flow, these can be worn for 6-8 hours. The only downfall here may be for those with a busy schedule-changing your underwear while out and about could be inconvenient. However, they have been met with very good reviews online, claiming the underwear to be leak free and comfortable.

Awards and Recognition

Green Awards 2019 - Winner - Green NGO of the Year
All Ireland Community and Council Awards 2019 - WINNER