How to have an eco-friendly period

Good old tampons and pads may be the ‘traditional’ option for period care but they can be pretty wasteful. We all want to be a bit more eco-friendly but finding green sanitary products can seem a little daunting. Enter, the BeYou Menstrual Cup. Our little cup is a great option for all those eco-warriors who want to have a ‘greener’ period kit. 

What is a menstrual cup?

Menstrual cups are a reusable alternative to tampons and pads. They are usually made from medical grade silicone and come in a bell-like or tulip shape. Unlike tampons and pads, they hold your blood rather than absorbing it. To use one you simply fold your cup, insert it like a tampon and make sure it pops open so it catches your blood. One cup can last for up to 10 years, meaning it’s kind to your pennies and the planet!

During production 

Eco-friendly period products

Sanitary pads and tampons are usually made from cotton and, if you didn’t already know, cotton is a pretty thirsty plant - for water, not THAT! To make 1kg of cotton you need about 10,000 litres of water. With an average tampon weighing 9g and around 18 in one box that’s 162g of cotton. So for 10 boxes of regular tampons, you will have used over 15,000 litres of water! 

And let’s not forget about the harmful pesticides that are used when farming cotton as well as the emissions that are produced when manufacturing and transporting tampons and pads. That’s a big old emission footprint. With menstrual cups, you can skip the water waste, the pesticides and the energy it takes to harvest the cotton. Sounds like an easy switch to us! 

The time of the month 

Woman tracking her period

Here is a not-so-fun fact: the majority of tampons and pads aren’t biodegradable because of the microplastics they contain. We know, it sounds gross. According to a recent study, one woman will throw away around 200kg of sanitary waste and will use around 10,000 tampons in her lifetime. And with half the world’s population menstruating every 28 days, you can imagine that’s a whole lot of tampons and pads sat in landfill.

It’s estimated that tampons and sanitary pads take around 500 years to biodegrade depending on the amount of plastic they contain. But it’s not just the products themselves, it’s their packaging! Leading brands use plastic applicators as well as plastic packaging to protect the tampon or pad. That’s even more plastic waste that can’t be recycled and can’t biodegrade which just ain’t cute. 

The menstrual cup is here to change all that. Period cups can last for a whopping 10 years which dramatically cuts the amount of sanitary waste you produce. Also, because they are virtually plastic-free, using a menstrual cup minimises the amount of plastic you send to landfill while on the blob. You can even recycle menstrual cups at your local hospital or via other recycling programmes. Sounds like a bloody miracle to us! 

How do tampons compare to cups

There are lots of other reasons why you might switch from tampons to a cup. Not only are they environmentally friendly, they don’t contain toxic chemicals, you can use them whether you have a light or heavy flow and it can save you loads of cash. Check out our Cups Vs Tampons guide to see how they compare. 

Toxic Chemicals 

Woman holding pad and tampon

Traditional tampons and pads are often bleached to give them the pristine white look (which you bleed all over anyway?!). The chemicals found in them, like Rayon, are not only harmful to our ‘ecosystem’ if you catch our drift, but also the planet’s.

Around 2 billion sanitary items are flushed down the toilet, in the UK, every year. When they are disposed of down the loo, the chemicals inside the tampons leak into our waters which can harm plants and animals. Also, around 4.8 pieces of sanitary waste are found every 100m along a beach in Britain which can harm the surrounding wildlife. You heard it here first - tampons are killing turtles. Well maybe that’s a bit dramatic but it’s a serious issue!

Praise be for the menstrual cup! Our menstrual cup is made from medical grade silicone for a very good reason. It doesn’t contain toxic chemicals. Why? Because who would want to stick a load of nasty chemicals inside their vagina?! Not us, that’s for sure.

Medical grade silicone won’t interfere with your natural pH balance and it is completely hypoallergenic. The reason why they’re eco-friendly is that should they be thrown away (which you don’t need to do anyway!) they won’t emit any harmful chemicals into the water. The less water pollution there is, the more turtles can live happily in their natural habitat, it’s as easy as that. 

We understand tampons and pads are period classics and they aren’t going away anytime soon. But, it’s 2020 and we all need to think about the best ways we can be eco-friendly. That’s why we think period cups, moon cups, menstrual cups, whatever you call them, are a great option. They are just as reliable, safe and so much kinder to the planet than traditional pads and tampons. A toxic-free, plastic-free period is super easy with the BeYou Menstrual Cup.

If you have any questions about menstrual cups then you can contact our team via our webchat or you can chat to us on our social media, we’re more than happy to answer your questions!

Meet the Author

jess simms

Jess is our Content & Community executive who writes about, well ...everything! She loves talking about period positivity and body positivity and, let's face it, loves a good debate. When she isn't talking about all things BeYou, she has probably got her nose in a book, cuddling her Jack Russell Terrier, Buster 🧚‍♀🐶📖

1 comment

Katie

I have wanted to try a cup for ages so this has definitely sealed the deal for me. I didn’t realise how wasteful tampons were! Thanks BeYou!

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