period pants, cups and re-usable mini pads

How to have a zero waste period

07 Apr 2021


Periods come and go every month, and so too do the products that are linked to monthly menstrual flows.

Menstruation happens, and then the products, such as tampons and pads, are used and disposed of, never to be seen again.

But we now live in a world that’s striving to minimise waste, especially plastic waste on a global scale. By 2042, it’s hoped that the UK will have eliminated avoidable plastic waste altogether, and by 2020, the aim is to have zero avoidable waste.1

Period products = plastic and waste

Plastic and non-recyclable waste is present in all sorts of different products, sanitary pads and other sanitary products included. And when you tot up how many of these products the average women uses each month and then apply this math to menstruating women the world over, you’re talking a lot of products and a lot of waste…

…Around 12,000 pads or tampons in one menstruating woman’s lifetime.2

It’s menstruating maths-related sums like these that have led to people, women, manufacturers to re-think the role of sanitary towels and the like in the on-going fight to reduce the amount of plastic and waste ending up in landfill and polluting the planet.

Zero waste feminine care – the options

Reusable sanitary products are being recognised as the way forward to producing less waste. Meanwhile, plastic-free disposable period pads and tampons are also being seen as the answer to helping reduce overall plastic waste.3

Zero waste sanitary products

Period panties

Flux Undies Period Proof Underwear 

 This period-proof underwear features a built-in moisture wicking, absorbent and leak-proof panel that locks in liquid for up to 12 hours (depending on your flow).

What’s so great about them: They’re reusable, washable and last for at least three years. They can also hold up to four regular pads/tampons worth of menstrual flow. They are available in sizes S, M & XL

Period cup

OrganiCup The Menstrual Cup

OrganiCup is the award-winning, reusable menstrual cup that replaces pads and tampons and contains no harmful chemicals.

What’s so great about it: This period cup offers up to 12 hours of protection. Simply empty the cup in the morning and evening and reuse it for several years. It's available in different sizes depending on your needs.

Also check out: Mooncup Menstrual Cup and Enna Cycle Menstrual Cups with Applicator

Reusable pads

Bloom and Nora Mini Triple Pack Reusable Pads

These reusable sanitary towels from Bloom & Nora are ethically made in the UK and are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable pads.

What’s so great about them: The stay dry interior keeps you comfortable, while the no leaks binding keeps your period in your pad and the popper fastenings keeps your pad in your pants. After you’ve used these mini pads, give them a rinse and then wash at 40 to 60 degrees.

Also check out: Grace & Green Night Pads 10 pack

Plastic-free sanitary products

Bamboo pads

Flo Bamboo Pads - Day/Night Combo 15 pack 

This pack contains 15 bamboo pads - 10 day and 5 night-time pads.

What’s so great about them: These pads are made from Oeko-Tex bamboo and non-GMO corn fibre for a super soft, super absorbent, yet ultra-thin towel that stays put with wings. They're also wrapped in compostable plant-film. (Don’t forget to check out Flo’s box of daily panty liners, which contain 24 liners for daytime period protection).

Organic tampons

Flo Organic Non-Applicator Tampons - Regular/Super Combo 16 pack

This pack contains 8 regular and 8 super tampons that are plant-based, natural and super comfy.

What’s so great about them: They’re made from GOTS-certified organic cotton for super absorbent protection that’s free from nasties like chlorine bleach, dioxins, synthetic fibres, pesticides, fragrances and allergens.

Also check out: Grace & Green Applicator Tampons - Super 14 pack

You may not have considered using plastic-free or reusable sanitary products until reading this article. If that’s the case, we hope you do give them a try, as there are lots of different products to choose from to suit your preferences; the products above are literally just the tip of the iceberg.

If, on the other hand, you were already in-the-know about these sanitary products and have been using them, we hope we’ve shown you some products and options you may not have heard about or seen before. Either way ladies, we hope this article helps you, your family, your friends and your colleagues make more informed choices about your period products in the future. (PS: Pass the message on!)

Want to learn more about our stance on zero waste? Take a look at this article, Welcome to our zero waste world. Shop Zero Waste Feminine Care

Last updated: 8 September 2020