#PlasticFreePeriods with City to Sea
City to Sea are a non-profit organisation that are running campaigns to help prevent marine pollution at source. Through engaging with communities, retailers, manufacturers and the government, City to sea are reversing the trend for disposable items in order to safeguard our seas.
On any given day an average of 800 million women are menstruating, meaning 4.3 billion disposable menstrual products are used in the UK every year, producing a huge amount of plastic waste that could be avoided. However, these 'conventional' disposable products contain the same amount of plastic as four carrier bags and can often have a longer life span than the person that uses it!
Currently, period product manufacturers aren't required to disclose what their products are made from even though they are found to contain toxic chemicals which have been linked to heart diseases and cancer.
City to Sea believe that this International Women's Day, females across the globe should should be able to make informed decisions about what they're putting inside their bodies and so are raising awareness with their #PlasticFreePeriods campaign.
We're incredibly passionate about our #PlasticFreePeriods campaign because it ties into so many issues as well as that of protecting our oceans. Switching to reusables and spreading awareness about our product options is empowering, educational and can help contribute to a more equitable and compassionate world for all.Jasmine Tribe, Campaigns Coordinator for City to Sea
Sadly, as a result of the shame and stigma associated with periods, many girls don't receive proper education on how to manage their period as well as what products are available to them. Because of this, an estimated 140,000 girls in the UK missed school due to their period last year.
The most commonly recommended brands of period products (e.g. Always and Tampax) contain 90% crude oil plastic and that includes the products themselves - not just their packaging!
The plastic waste this produces is huge! Not only do the products contribute to this but so do we. 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million pads are wrongly flushed down the toilet in the UK everyday! This waste then ends up blocking our sewage systems and polluting rivers, seas and wildlife that lives there. Flushed plastics account for 8% of beach litter in the UK.
The alternative options
You could save up to 94% of what you would have spent on disposable products by switching to reusables.
1. Reusable period pads
These pads are used in the same way you'd use a regular period pad except they can be washed and used again. They come in a range of sizes, materials and patterns. Plus, like disposable pads, you're able to pick your absorbency. They cost up to £35 and last up to 10 years!
3. Period pants
Period pants are an absorbent underwear that you're able to wash and reuse again. They come in a range of styles so you can stick to your regular underwear and you can choose their absorbencies too! They can be used for up to 2 years and cost up to £31.
2. Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups are a soft, flexible product made of either silicone or latex rubber that can be used just like a tampon except they can hold more! They have an average life of 5-10 years and are an affordable way to manage your period with their costs ranging from £9 - £25.
4. Organic disposables
These products use 100% organic cotton instead of the bleached material you'll find in mainstream pads and tampons. Organic products can also help reduce the chances of toxic shock syndrome. Please remember that even organic products should not be flushed down your toilet.