Eco-Friendly Tampon alternatives

Let's face it, plastic is a part of life.

Period products leave no exception, and when it comes to the environment, not all period products have the same impact.

Wind the clock back throughout history and people have used all kinds of absorbent materials but as technology modernized and our love affair with plastic blossomed, plastic became a key piece of period products being sold on the market today.

Why are tampons bad for the environment?

Tracking plastic waste from period products is difficult because it is classified as medical waste and therefore does not need to be tracked. There are estimates though and they are quite staggering. In 2018, people in the US bought 5.8 billion tampons, pretty much all of which ended up in a landfill. Studies have shown that per person over a lifetime of menstruating this equates to 5,000 - 15,000 pads/tampons and 400 pounds of period product packaging. What's more, these plastic-based products are estimated to take 500-800 years to fully break down. While efforts to eliminate the tampon tax and ensure all who menstruate have access to products, the environmental impact cannot be ignored.

Fortunately there are alternatives, several in fact. From menstrual cups to period underwear, there are reusable and eco-friendly period products to choose from.

Different kinds of alternatives to tampons

Just as common period products take many forms, so do their substitutes. The most common period product alternatives are:

  • Period underwear
  • Menstrual cups
  • Menstrual discs
  • Reusable pads

Each product has its own pros and cons, however they're all far more eco-friendly and better for the environment. That is because each of these alternatives is not a single-use product, rather they can be cleaned and re-used allowing you to eliminate waste.

We'll explore a few of them in this article though check out our list of alternatives to pads for other products.

The best eco-friendly tampon alternatives

1. Diva cup

Price: $39.99

Materials: Made of 100% medical grade silicone

Brand ethics: Diva is a certified B Corp, and committed to donating money and products towards period care and menstrual health in developing countries while maintaining a commitment to sustainability.

The diva cup is a popular menstrual cup tampon alternative. Made of soft, yet durable silicon this cup can be worn for 12 hours at a time, is chemical-free, and can be washed and reused between periods helping to eliminate plastic waste.

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2. Lena cup

Price: $25.00

Materials: Made of 100% medical grade silicone

Brand ethics: Lena is committed to creating sustainable products in the USA, and promoting period and menstrual health.

The Lena Menstrual Cup is a healthy and conscious alternative to pads and tampons.

Lena  is a bell-shaped menstrual cup that collects your monthly menstrual blood. Inserted like a tampon, Lena sits comfortably in your vagina and offers a leak and sensation-free period. Lena Cup is ideal for teens and adult users and offers complete protection during rest, sleep and physical activities.

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3. Saalt Menstrual Cup

Price: $29.00

Materials: Made from Soft touch 100% medical-grade silicone.

Brand ethics: Saalt is a certified B Corp, they donate 2% towards period care and menstrual health in developing countries while maintaining a commitment to sustainability.

Saalt offers a few different period products ranging from period underwear to menstrual cups and discs. Their cup is an excellent option, boasting a range of sizes, medical-grade silicone, and of course waste-free periods.

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Why we like these green alternatives