In Britain alone, over 2 billion sanitary products end up flushed down the drain—but did you know that can cause extensive and expensive plumbing problems? Even if they make it all the way through the pipes without a severe blockage, the ocean isn’t a great place to find pads and tampons.
Disposing of your feminine hygiene products incorrectly is a waste management nightmare. Here’s how to dispose of the most-used feminine hygiene products the right way!
1. Disposable Pads
Pads absorb; they don’t dissolve. If you flush a pad down the toilet, it will clog the pipes. Instead, you remove it from your underwear, wrap it in its original packaging or in some toilet paper, and throw it away.
Many pad users have environmental concerns because conventional pads are one-use only. They generate non-biodegradable waste that ends up in landfills for hundreds of years. However, companies like Concept Hygiene work hard to dispose of sanitary products in environmentally friendly ways.
2. Reusable Pads
Reusable pads can last between two and five years, wearing them once or twice per cycle. When you’re ready to replace them, throw them away like you would any fabric.
Another disposal option is cutting them up and composting them. Their main material is cotton, which is biodegradable. Remember to remove plastic or metal snaps as well as the waterproof layer of cotton before you toss them in the composting bin.
3. Disposable Tampons
Like disposable pads, tampons don’t get along with plumbing. When you remove them, put them in the trash rather than the toilet. The same is true for their applicators; both plastic and cardboard applicators belong in trash cans, not septic tanks.
100% cotton tampons are compostable. Water-waste systems can’t handle them, but they will break down in about six months under the correct composting conditions. You can compost them yourself, or put them in a composting bag with your regular garbage.
4. Menstrual Discs
After removing your menstrual disc, you drain the blood into the toilet. The disc itself goes into the trash. It is not reusable.
They are made of plastic or silicone, so it’s one of the least environmental menstrual hygiene options.
5. Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups are very similar to discs. After removing it, empty it into the toilet. However, menstrual cups are washable and reusable!
If you keep it in good condition, you won’t have to replace it for one to two years. If you notice any tears or holes, though, it’s time for a replacement. Throw an old menstrual cup away with your usual garbage.
Dispose of Your Feminine Hygiene Products the Right Way
Chances are, you’ll be using feminine hygiene products throughout your reproductive years. Dispose of them responsibly to avoid expensive plumbing mishaps!
If you learned something from this article, keep the momentum going! The health page of this site has plenty more resources for menstrual health and beyond. Start exploring now.