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Reducing the amount of plastic we use in our day-to-day lives is an ongoing effort. From coffee cups to shopping bags, there are plastic-free alternatives for so many of our everyday items — including period products. Menstrual items are arguably one of the worst contributors to plastic pollution yet are a necessity. A shocking 1.5 to 2 billion menstrual products which contain plastic are flushed down Britain's toilets every single year. Their journey will usually lead them to rot in landfills or float around polluting the oceans.
Plastic pollution is harmful to everyone — humans, animals, and plants included. And that's mainly because it takes hundreds of years to decompose, releasing toxic pollutants as it does. Even if you're binning your pads and tampons, they're still harming the environment if they're full of plastic (and FYI, your average disposable period pad is made of 90 percent plastic). The only way to truly have a sustainable period is to shop for plastic-free products.
A fifth of British women have purchased period underwear in the last year, and a third said they are interested in purchasing some in the future. Brands are stepping up, too, with more and more companies ditching plastic packaging and applicators. It's fairly easy to find reusable tampons and pads, plastic-free menstrual cups, and period gym-wear, and they are the answer to feeling good physically and morally.
If you've been curious about how to have a plastic-free and sustainable period, you've come to the right place. We've rounded up some of the best eco-friendly period products.
— Additional reporting by Tori Crowther