If you were a women, you understand the pains and suffering of each monthly period that you cannot avoid. Thanks to all the technologies, science and product development, there are all kinds of options that can help relieve or comfort those troubles. However, we may not be aware that majority of the products include quite a few materials that are not degradable. Those include mainly plastic waste and toxic chemicals.
- 100 billion period products are thrown away every year. Most contain plastic but cannot be reused or recycled. Instead they break into tiny pieces and enter our food chain, and your lunch.
Most tampons contain synthetics treated with chemicals and cotton sprayed with pesticides. Women use 12,000 tampons in a lifetime and the vagina is highly absorbent. You do the maths.
Numbers like those above ring a bell in our minds that it's time to change. Female consumers who can contribute more than we imagined to a better environment and life for human. As usual, we started with research of alternative solutions. The most ideal way is to use menstrual cup which is a simple device that can be reused and can hold probably the best volume of blood coming out every time. However, the way of using it is still messy. You will need access to a private bathroom and clean water resources so that you can wash off your hands every time you use it. As we mentioned in our first zero-waste related article, we are not ready to jump into zero-waste or sacrifice all costs/convenience for the most ideal solutions yet so we decided to dig further. This leads us to a two-folded solution that might help transit and achieve our goals for now.
Firstly, we found DAME, world's first reusable applicator for tampons. This product is built for years. They offer free replacement if damage is caused (may need to look further if any terms and conditions apply). They also recycle the product if return is necessary. Mediprene is the material that the applicator is made of. The material seems to be PVC, silicone & latex free according to general Google search and is quite commonly used for medical devices. It took us about 8 calendar days to get the shipment from UK to the US and obviously they are experiencing high demand based on the notice on the website.
It comes in a quite small square cardboard/paper box. Opening it, you will find the can below and the Thank You note at the side. Open the tin, you will find the applicator along with a small bag and 6 free organic tampons inside (looks like regular sizes and they just started offering super size). The instructions of use is actually the green paper attached to the cap that can be easily pulled and opened (video link under the pictures). The product is selling at $30.13USD and you can subscribe to their organic tampons or like us to choose cheaper but similar applicator-free tampons at Amazon (we prefer o.b. so far). Unfortunately, the tampons are still rapped with plastics which we have thought if rice paper can be an alternative
Secondly to the solution, you might need some reusable sanitary pads for light period or other related needs. There are plenty options that are made of layers of cotton, charcoal bamboo fiber and water proof materials to be worn like normal underwear. There isn't too much science behind it and it's quite cheap to buy a bunch like this option.
It could be a big life habit change and like any other new things, it may take some practice to get use to them. Share with us products you are using for more eco-friendly life or let us know if you have other suggestions/tips to contribute.
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