On average, people who have periods will spend roughly 2,500 days menstruating. All that blood has to go somewhere, and for centuries absorbing and disposing of it has been the norm globally.
The first pack of disposable menstrual pads was sold in 1921. Back then, tossing period products in the trash seemed to make sense. By 1973, more than 70% of people with periods in the U.S. were using disposable tampons and pads.
It's wasn't - and still isn't - just menstrual products filling up the rubbish, though. There are endless products made and sold worldwide that are all wrapped in plastic and end up in the trash. The question is now, where is all that trash going to go?
Where Does All Our Trash End Up?
Once your trash has left your home, if it can't be recycled or burned, its final destination is likely a landfill. While these facilities are designed to hold waste, the rate at which it piles up is much faster than it can decompose. Today, around 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons from the U.S. alone end up in the trash every year.
What Are Disposable Pads and Tampons Made From?
Some pads and tampons are made with cotton, but it's often been highly processed or bleached with chlorine to appear extra white and contains other synthetic materials that aren't biodegradable.
Aside from plastic packaging and applicators, disposable pads and tampons can also contain plastics woven into the fibers and strings, in the protective and adhesive wings, and in coatings used to help with ease of removal.
What Makes Single-Use Period Products Unsustainable?
Since single-use period products are packaged with and contain plastics that don't degrade naturally, every one of them that ends up in the trash is headed to the landfill to stay.
On top of that, the process used to make these types of plastics puts a higher demand on the use of fossil fuels, which are nonrenewable and major contributors to environmental pollution.
Ways To Have A More Sustainable Period
Throwing away a box worth of tampons or pads every month may not seem like a lot, but every piece of trash you keep out of the garbage is one less that will end up in a landfill. Every action counts, and switching to reusable period products is more planet-friendly. It's one small step you can take to make a big difference!
Options For Reusable Period Products
The Benefits of Reusable Period Products
Of course reusable products are more sustainable and eco-friendly, but did you know reusable period products like Hello Cups and Hello Discs will last as long as five years and save the equivalent of over 2000 single-use period products from landfills? That's a lot of plastic!
Switching to reusable period products will also be a benefit to your budget. On average, someone using single-use period products will spend $13.25 per month—over $200 every year! Reusable products like the Hello Cup start from just $30 and will cover you for up to five years' worth of period care. That's just $6 a year or $0.50 per month!
Finally (in our - ahem - humble opinion), reusable period products are easier to use and much more comfortable. Our Hello Cups and Hello Discs are made from the highest quality TPEs and medical-grade silicone. Both are soft and flexible, and you can barely even feel them once inserted.
In summary: People who are seeking more eco-friendly practices to manage their periods have more reusable choices than ever before. When you select products that don't contain plastic in the product or its packaging, you're making a sustainable decision for yourself, the planet and your wallet.
You *can* enjoy an eco-friendly period that produces zero-waste and saves you money every month without purchasing those pesky disposables. Period.