What’s the most sustainable way to get rid of tampons?
December 22, 2020 — Team Fempowered

62% of women have admitted to flushing their tampons down the toilet.

1.4 million sanitary pads are flushed down the toilet every day in the UK alone according to Natracare.

These are scary stats, but we can help change them by getting into the habit of binning our period products instead of flushing them.

As we explored in a recent blog post, a mix of lack of education and facilities, alongside persisting period taboos, means that flushing period waste is often the only or the best option out there.

Far from only impacting the day-to-day life of those with periods, these practices are also impacting the environment. Clogging drains. Polluting the oceans. Littering beaches. Period waste is a huge problem and something that can’t be ignored any longer! It's time to get binning.

But what if there’s no bin?!

Good question. We’ve all been in situations where you whip out a tampon, only to realise there’s no bin, or it’s full, or just really gross - making flushing the only realistic alternative. But if you don't fancy flushing or binning, let us introduce you to FabLittleBag.

We’re currently partnering with the eco-warriors that are Fab Little Bag. On a mission (just like us!) to stop period products from polluting the ocean, they produce disposal bags made from sugarcane and recycled materials for your period waste.

These handy little menstruation sidekicks mean that you’ll never again be stuck or feel awkward; bin or no bin. They are easy to use with one hand, completely opaque and seal closed. That means you can simply put your tampon in one and pop it in your bag until you can access somewhere to dispose of it. Easy, confident, hygienic binning. 

Can I compost period products?

Ideally, yes - and technically it’s possible. But in reality, it’s very difficult to do.

Products that are ‘compostable’ usually need to go to industrial composting sites in order to compost within a few months. But most of our collected waste ends up either in landfill or is incinerated.

Turn and Flow, an incredible company committed to recycling period product waste into renewable energy and fertiliser, did some digging on the ability to compost menstrual waste here in the UK. They uncovered that, whilst some councils may accept products in the food waste (composting) bin, it was completely up to their discretion. Waste disposal is managed at a local, not national level in the UK. This means that the rules surrounding composting biomaterials vary greatly between areas and are rarely clear.

For now at least, composting period waste is not accessible for most, even if it is the end-goal we should be aiming for!

Whilst there are many reasons that people with periods either have to or want to flush period products, we’re proud to be working with FabLittleBag to encourage binning instead. With Fempowered period products and FabLittleBag, together we can be kinder to our planet as well as kinder to our vaginas.

Where did we get our stats and facts from?