By Hibah Khan|
April 14, 2022|
5 min read
Having an eco-friendly period is now very much a possibility with a slew of sustainable menstrual products showing promises in changing the conversation and attitude towards low waste menstruation.
In their lifetime, people with periods use more than 11,000 disposable menstrual products and moreover an astonishing 4.3 billion products are used per year in the UK. Worryingly, the manufacturers of these products are not required by law to disclose the ingredients. This means that many of them contain chemicals like bleach (to achieve the white look) and are made from materials like rayon (a type of plastic) or pesticide-treated cotton.
Every year, 200,000 tonnes of waste is generated by the disposal of single-use menstrual products and most of these menstrual products contain up to 90% plastic and can take over 500 years to break down.
The waste generated by our sanitary products is not the only issue. The majority of single-use period products, whether tampons or pantyliners, contain a slew of chemicals that are extremely harmful to both us and Mother Earth.
As a result, we’re doing our best to find sustainable alternatives for a planet friendly period, whatever method/products you prefer. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 eco period products available right now at Wearth.
What Exactly Constitutes A Sustainable Period:
In a nutshell, the term “sustainable periods” simply means that you are actively attempting to reduce the amount of waste generated by your periods.
Every day, it is estimated that 2.5 million tampons, 1.4 million pads, and 700,000 pantyliners are flushed down toilets in the United Kingdom. By choosing period products that do not use plastic, or use less of it, you are helping to reduce waste, slow climate change, and reduce your carbon footprint.
Here at Wearth, we have a diverse range of menstrual product options for you to experiment with. These alternative solutions can help us eliminate plastic from our periods entirely (or as much as possible) and proves that it isn’t so difficult, as mainstream media may demonstrate.
What Can You Do To Have A Sustainable Period:
If you’re jumpstarting into having an eco-friendly period here are some things you can do.
1) Do not flush period products:
Filtering out tampons or pads costs a whopping £100 million per year and by flushing products down the drain it contributes towards ocean plastic pollution. They end up in our oceans, harming marine life and contributing to the generation of microplastics. If you don’t have a period, avoid flushing wet wipes, makeup wipes, nappies, cotton buds, and other items that contain plastics and can cause blockages.
2) Choose organic:
Switch to certified organic tampons and pads if you use them. These, like organic fruit and vegetables, are much better for our bodies because they don’t contain pesticides, and they’re also fairer to the farmers who grow them. Organic products use less water in their manufacturing, are biodegradable, and contain far fewer harmful chemicals. It’s a win-win situation!
3) Switching To Reusables:
It may sound strange, but switching to cloth pads or a menstrual cup can actually change how you feel about your period. Changing the products you use can alter your relationship with your body. Cloth pads, unlike disposables, are designed for superior comfort and are extremely breathable. Most reusable menstruation products are not associated with contact dermatitis and do not contain any chemicals or perfume. As a result, they are an excellent choice for those who have delicate or sensitive skin.
4) Normalising discussions about periods:
Even though approximately 800 million people in the world are menstruating at the moment, we are still not discussing it. Periods can be uncomfortable, but discussing them should not be. Surprisingly, until 2019, there was no mention of periods in school. Even now, primary and secondary school students are given very little information. Many people who have periods must rely on friends or family for guidance, and because they can appear to be a taboo subject, periods are frequently left out of the environmental debate.
Let’s normalise the conversation about periods and encourage people to share information about why they are a problem for the environment.
5) Make a contribution to period poverty:
It is estimated that currently over 137,000 children across the UK have missed school days due to period poverty. How can we help those who may be less fortunate when it comes to menstruation? There are some incredible organisations that have been established with the goal of assisting these groups of people. Period poverty in the UK may include those living in refugee camps, those in low-income households, those who are homeless, or those who have had a lack of period education and are uncomfortable attending school during their period. PERIOD., Bloody Good Period, and Freedom for Girls are all excellent places to begin.
More and more sustainable period options are emerging, making it easier than ever to have a more eco-friendly period. From menstrual cups becoming more popular to a plethora of new brands of period underwear, it appears that you have more options than ever before. That’s fantastic! Until it all becomes a little overwhelming and you have no idea which of the many options is superior to the other. So we’re here to help:
Best Menstrual Cups For Heavy Flow Periods:
It’s easy to see why menstrual cups are becoming increasingly popular. They don’t contain any harmful chemicals and they are also reusable, eco-friendly, and produce no waste. Not only that but period cups are more environmentally friendly than period panties because they can handle heavier flows and are easier to clean.
Are you constantly concerned about leaks? Then this is the cup you’re looking for. If you’re not sure which size to get, they have two sizes to choose from (A or B), making it easier than ever to get the right fit. The cups offer superior protection for up to 12 hours, and Grace & Green also contributes to The Unmentionables charity work to combat period poverty around the world.
Best Period Underwear To Stay Dry:
Periods no longer have to be managed solely through the use of pads and tampons. Period panties are both environmentally friendly and comfortable, in addition to being fantastic alternatives to traditional menstrual products.
Using period panties does not require you to give up your preferred underwear style. The LUXstore period thong supports you on light period flow, making it ideal for those lighter days near the end of your cycle. Their underwear is made from super breathable organic cotton fabric and absorbs a good amount of menstrual blood.
Best Plastic-Free Tampons:
Conventional tampons contain a significant amount of plastic, which takes a very long time to degrade in landfill (500 years), compared to 100% cotton, which takes 1-5 months to biodegrade. If you’re not quite ready to make the switch, we have the best plastic-free, eco-friendly tampons.
These tampons meet all of our environmental requirements, as they are made from organic cotton that is grown sustainably and have a biodegradable applicator. The smooth cardboard applicator is easy to insert and secure to wear. Furthermore, 10% of & Sisters’ profits are donated to initiatives that help to combat period poverty around the world.
Grace & Green makes a variety of eco-friendly period products, including these biodegradable, organic cotton tampons with a biodegradable cardboard applicator. They have a soft rounded tip for easy insertion and expand gently both lengthways and widthways for a comfortable fit. We love how it’s both breathable and absorbent.
Best Designed Reusable Pads:
Since they first became popular, reusable sanitary pads have been revolutionising the world of eco-friendly period products, providing a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to their single-use counterparts.
These stylish reusable pads are an excellent entry point into the world of environmentally friendly period products. The pads are crafted with vegan materials and organic cotton fabrics. They are highly absorbent, handcrafted in the UK and overall a game changer.
These are extremely lengthy pads (25.5cm). However, despite their length, they are not bulky and, more importantly, provide excellent protection. They’re made of organic cotton and bamboo and are incredibly soft. They attach to the wings with poppers and provide excellent coverage.
These reusable sanitary towels are discrete and simple, even when you’re wearing close-fitting clothing like yoga pants. They have a long fit to accommodate heavier flows, and poppers on the wings that snap into place around your cotton underwear. The top layer is organic cotton jersey, and the backing is 30% organic cotton and 70% bamboo fleece making it super absorbent to keep leaks at bay.
Best Pads For Absorbency:
Consider adding these natural and organic pads to your inventory if you are gradually transitioning into having a sustainable period. They’re made from only sustainable materials, such as organic cotton, and are as natural as your period.
Interlabial pads are exactly what they sound like: pads that fold and fit between your labia. Made from breathable and wicking natural hemp fabric with an absorbent antibacterial core, they are perfect for controlling your menstrual flow, discharge and light incontinence. They’re extremely discrete, and their breathable fabric is designed to draw moisture away from the skin.
LUXstore’s night sanitary pads are longer and wider than regular pads, providing twice the protection. These pads are suitable for heavy flow periods and they have wings that allow you to change positions comfortably while sleeping without the risk of leakage from any direction. These pads are made with GOTS certified organic cotton making them hypoallergenic.
These eco-friendly menstrual pads are completely plastic-free, as the name implies. Plasfree’s premium, ultra thin, sustainable period pads for the night provides comfort with 5 times the absorption of traditional pads. The packaging is also recyclable, making them as environmentally friendly as they are safe.
We hope that this article has given you insight into the diverse range of options out there, helping you to see that sustainable periods are an option via many different methods. Didn’t find what you’re looking for or wanting to discover more? Here’s our whole collection of sanitary products. Shop here!