For too long we have been using single use items, and we're now seeing how destructive this is for our Earth, and our health.

Single use menstrual products can take hundreds of years to breakdown, and being made from mostly plastic, will never fully breakdown and become micro plastics. 

Not only that, disposables contain toxins and bleach that are skin absorbs and can have pretty serious health effects. Below we have more information on the dangers of disposables on our health and the impact on our Earth.

Thanks for reading! 

Facts on menstruation.

  • Women use more than 11,000 disposable menstrual products in their lifetime - based on average of 38 years of menstruation using 22 items of sanitary products per cycle, 13 cycles per year

  • Statista estimated that in 2016, an estimated 1.8 million women (aged 15+) in the UK used 25 or more menstrual towels a month.

  • Average menstrual flow is around 85g per cycle. Barely enough to fill a small teacup. Most women and people who menstruate will do so for on average of 38 years and have approx. 500 periods in their lifetime.

  • Each period can cost up to £41, that’s £492/year and £18,450 over a lifetime.

  • Disposal of single use menstrual products - tampons, pads and applicators generates 200,000 tonnes of waste per year.

Health impacts

  • Despite changes in bleaching practices to purify the wood pulp – one of raw materials used to make menstrual products – chlorine and dioxin (one of the most toxic substances known to humankind) can still be found in menstrual towels and tampons.

  • Dioxins are persistent organic pollutants that are highly toxic, damage your immune system and may interfere with your hormone system.

  • Traces of pesticides and insecticides have also been found in tampons.

  • Residues of glyphosate (a probable carcinogen) and used as an active ingredient in certain weed killers has been found in menstrual towels, tampons and panty liners in France and in Argentina.

  • Endometriosis is linked with exposure to dioxin and endocrine disrupting chemicals even small amounts in menstrual products can add up over a lifetime of use.

***All facts from WEN - link to fact sheet with references: here****

Environmental impacts.

  • Most menstrual pads are made from 90% plastic! Each pack contains around the same amount of plastic than 4 supermarket carrier bags. 

  • Plastic products can take up to a thousand years to decompose in landfills or in the ocean.

  • Half of UK women flush tampons away. It has been estimated that 1.5-2 billion menstrual items are flushed down Britain’s toilets each year.

  • There are approximately 370,000 sewer blockages throughout the UK every year, of which up to 80% are caused by fats, oils and grease, wipes, sanitary waste and other unflushable items. It costs £88 million a year to unblock sewers in the UK.

  • Disposable items never fully breakdown, but turn into micro-plastics. Micro-plastics can be twice as harmful leaching toxic additives into the ocean while they break down while also acting like a sponge absorbing other harmful chemicals from the sea water onto their surface. This makes them a very toxic morsel for fish, sea mammals and the humans that eat them.

  • Figures from the Marine Conservation Society reveal 4 pads, pantyliners and backing strips are found for every 100m of beach cleaned, along with 1.2 used tampons and applicators. That’s 4.8 pieces of menstrual waste on average per 100m of beach in the UK.