Periods: no one’s favourite topic of conversation despite the time, money and energy they take up in the lives of more or less half the world’s population. For most of us, the sanitary products we use are picked from a limited pool of choice: tampon or pad; applicator or non-applicator. Whether we have our preferred brand or not, our choice of sanitary products is, more often than not, an act of habit, a semi-conscious decision made hastily and without particular consideration. I think this would be a little different if we took a bit of time to think about some of the effects that these seemingly insignificant choices have.
On estimate, a woman will use over 11,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime. In the US alone, an estimated 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are disposed of annually. The environmental side effects of tampons and pads are fairly obvious: the processing of raw materials that takes place in creating the plastic used in tampons and pads; the quantities of water, pesticides and fertilizers used in the farming of cotton, not to mention the effects that the incorrect disposal of plastic tampon applicators can have on the ocean and marine life. According to a recent international study, we have produced enough plastic since the second world war to coat the Earth entirely in clingfilm. Despite the slightly comical image, it’s one that should be taken seriously and will perhaps make you reconsider your monthly consumption of plastic based sanitary products.
If you’re thinking of looking for an easy alternative to everyday sanitary products sold on the high street you would be best investigating into the mooncup: a reusable menstrual cup made from soft medical grade silicone that collects menstrual fluid whilst steering clear of plastics, bleaches and BPA. Good for the environment and your body too. There are numerous benefits to investing in one of these cups aside from the obvious environmental gains: one cup lasts for years so you can forget about monthly trips to the pharmacy for supplies; the mooncup collects three times more than a standard tampon; they are convenient, discreet and comfortable making them perfect for everyday activities.
Mooncup Ltd is a company entirely dedicated to providing environmentally friendly and sustainable sanitary products that reach beyond the mooncup itself. The storage bag is made from unbleached organic cotton by a Fairtrade Foundation, all packaging and promotional materials are produced by the UK’s leading environmental printer and thus it is the first sanitary protection manufacturer in the world to be awarded Ethical Business status for its people and environmentally friendly practices.
If you are still feeling unconvinced take a look at this video, maybe it will get you online and ordering your own mooncup