All About Plastic-Free Periods

Words: Jackie Bolen

Let’s talk about plastic. You can recycle it, but it’s kind of like trying to fix a falling down skyscraper with a hammer and nails. It’s a serious environmental problem, but thankfully, much of the world seems to be on board.

Every day, I’m seeing more and more reusable coffee cups, fountain pens, disposable cutlery made from wood, cloth shopping bags, and restaurants not using straws. This is good news for our oceans and landfills.


Why Not Period Products too?

But what about period products? Why are so many people still using disposable tampons and pads when there are better options out there. I have a few theories:


  • Menstrual cups have a serious learning curve to them.
  • Yes, you will get blood on your hands.
  • Cloth pads require you to wash them, instead of just throwing them into the trash.
  • It’s just more work to deal with the reusable options.
  • The up-front cost is higher

But, is it worth it? I certainly think so. Here are a few of the reasons why it’s time to make the switch to a menstrual cup. Three cheers for a plastic free period!


Reason #1 Why It’s Time to Make the Switch: The Environment

The average person uses more than 10,000 tampons during a lifetime. Sure, we can use the ones without an applicator but even they come wrapped in little bits of plastic.

Or, we could use those ones with plastic applicators, but that’s a little piece of environmental disaster every single time.

Compare this to a menstrual cup which can last for around five years. That’s a handful of menstrual cups over a lifetime compared to thousands of tampons. It just makes sense.


Reason #2 Why It’s Time to Make the Switch: Our Health

The second reason why you might consider making the switch is because of our health. Menstrual cups come with a lower risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. To date, there’s only been one reported case of TSS from a menstrual cup. There are hundreds of cases each year in the UK.

Here’s something that maybe you didn’t know. It’s that some popular tampon brands contain trace amounts of toxic chemicals in them. They come from the pesticides used to grow the cotton, as well as the manufacturing process.

What about a menstrual cup? It’s the best way to have a toxin free period experience. Just be sure to wash it with soap and water before you use and you’ll be good to go.


Reason #3 Why It’s Time to Make the Switch: Money-Savings

Remember those 10,000+ tampons? They’re expensive, but I’m sure you already know this.

Sure, menstrual cups cost a bit more up-front. But, over the long-term, you’ll save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars by making the switch.

Trust me, your bank account will thank you. Frugal power for the win!


Which Menstrual Cup Do you Recommend?

It’s hard to recommend a one size fits all menstrual cup solution. There are so many different brands, and body shapes and types.

We actually recommend taking a menstrual cup quiz like this one. There are a few simple questions, and at the end, you’ll get a recommendation for the best cup for your body type.


What are your thoughts on plastic-free periods? Share them with us here!