It can take more than 450 years for plastic sanitary products to decompose, and the average woman throws away 150kg of tampons, pads and applicators in their lifetime – which contributes to a huge amount of plastic waste.
Tesco is launching a plastic-free, organic sanitary range in stores for the first time for eco-conscious women.
The range, developed by a brand aptly called Time Of The Month, or TOTM for short, consists of a pad, liner, two applicator tampons in different absorbencies and a menstrual cup.
Tesco said that while many consumers are aware that applicators are made from plastic, many would be surprised to learn that sanitary pads are made “almost entirely” from plastic.
The cup, which is reusable, is made from plastic. But the tampons pads and liners are made from organic cotton with biofilm wrappers and biodegradable applicators.
“Since launching the brand we’ve been on a mission to tackle taboos and challenge the industry,” said TOTM founder St. John Burke. “We’re excited about this exclusive partnership with Tesco and see this as an opportunity for more women to switch to organic and eco-friendly alternatives.”
What are the other eco-friendly alternatives?
British organic tampon company DAME has launched a reusable applicator, the D. The idea is you use, rinse and reuse the applicator, instead of throwing away countless plastic ones every month. DAME’s range of organic cotton tampons are also compostable.
Natracare tampons have extra eco-friendly credentials. As well as providing biodegradable cardboard applicators, the tampons are made with organic cotton.
A menstrual cup is rated by the Women’s Environmental Network as the most sustainable option for those looking to make their period more eco-friendly. A Mooncup, (a particularly popular menstrual cup brand) for instance, is available for £20 and lasts ten years.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Sainsbury’s own-brand cardboard applicator tampons were plastic free, however they contain around 3% plastic.