Turning the tide on plastic period waste

This #PlasticFreeJuly we’re asking people to think about the impact of period waste on the planet. Everyday the UK flushes:

  • 700,000 panty liners

  • 2.5 million tampons

  • 1.4 million sanitary towels

Tampons, pads and panty liners are loaded with hidden plastic which makes its way into rivers and oceans. This has a devastating impact on marine life and coastlines. It’s time to put a stop to it!

On July 1st 2018, we marched on Brighton Beach to raise awareness and break the taboo which prevents people making informed choices. Our messages are simple:

  1. No more plastic! Too many of us aren’t aware of the ingredients inside period products
  2. No more flushing! Millions of conventional period products containing plastic and chlorine are being flushed down the toilet every single day and can end up in our rivers and seas. So many of us simply don’t know how correctly to dispose of our menstrual products, so it’s time to spread the message!

Top 5 (un)sanitary statistics

  • 1. Around 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day.
  • 2. Over 20,000 tampons, applicators and sanitary pads have been collected by Marine Conservation Society litter pickers during a decade of beach cleans.
  • 3. One pack of sanitary pads contains the same amount of plastic as four carrier bags.
  • 4. One conventional sanitary pad takes around 500 years to break down.
  • 5. Traditional period products contain chlorine which pollutes our waterways.

So, what can you do?
1. Never flush period products down the toilet. (Bin them or compost them instead)
2. Choose plastic free period products
3. #GOplasticfree this July

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who joined us on the march, including the brilliant City to Sea, the Women’s Environmental Network, Plastic Britain: on our watch, and plastic free periods campaigner Ella Daish.

Research:

Journal of the Institution of Environmental Sciences.

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