Five tips to help reduce the environmental impact of your menstruation

Tong Van

Tong Van

Menstruation itself is a natural phenomenon in women and not bad for the environment. However, many menstruation products are far from environmentally friendly. 

It has been estimated that each menstruator uses 11,000-16,000 sanitary items throughout their lifetime. Surprisingly, absorbent sanitary pads are actually made from around 90-per-cent plastic and take up to 500 years to break down. Meanwhile, worldwide there was more plastic produced in the last 10 years than ever before in the history of plastic.

“Greening your period and making it plastic-free can be a difficult concept for many,” said Carol Morris, the Australian distributor of the Lunette menstrual cup, “especially since most of us have been raised to believe that menstruating is something to be hidden and disposed of as quickly as possible.

“Luckily, millennials are owning their period. They’re like, “I bleed, get over it!”.”

Here are six ways that women can help mitigate the impact of using sanitary products during menstruation on the environment. 

1.      Get some silicone 

When it comes to sustainable menstruation products, menstrual cups are the top pick for the most environmentally friendly and waste-free way to manage your period. Although the cost of menstrual cups is usually higher than other types of sanitary products, it can last for 10 years if taken care of properly. 

Five tips to help reduce the environmental impact of your menstruation

2.      Change your underpants to change the world

With the advancement in modern absorbent fabrics, there is now a whole range of period underpants with different styles and flow protection. These fit and feel just like regular underpants but have a super-thin absorbent built-in liner that can hold one to three tampons’-worth of discharge. 

3.      Try modern cloth pads

If you are hesitant to use menstrual cups or tampons, modern cloth pads or reusable pads are a great alternative. These sanitary pads are an eco-friendly alternative to disposable menstrual products and help reduce monthly disposable waste. 

4.      Choose natural fibres

Biodegradable pads and tampons are also recommended for women who want to go plastic-free during their periods. These look and feel just like the conventional plastic-containing disposable pads and tampons, but are made of natural fibres that decompose in around six to 12 months in landfill … which is much better than 500 years! 

5.      Mix it up!

Making your period plastic-free is a journey, so if you are still not sure about which plastic-free option suits your lifestyle, start by mixing it up a little. Try using reusables at home and biodegradable disposables when out, cloth pads for work and a menstrual cup for overnight, period pants for gym, and biodegradable tampons for swimming. You will soon find that sustainable and plastic-free sanitary options are the future of period care.

  • Featured image credit: @alinabuzunova via Twenty20
Tong Van

Tong Van

Tong Van is a graduate of Ho Chi Minh City Law School majoring in Legal English and has been a content writer and researcher specialising in the retail sector for several years. Her interests include fashion, travel, health & beauty and food.


  1. Avatar

    I find this blog really helpful and informative. This is really great to our environment and also to all of us women because we can help lessen the plastic waste and also help us to save more money. Knowing this six ways that can help women to metigate the impact of using sanitary products during menstruation on the environment is really important. I really like it.

  2. Avatar

    Ang nice naman po nito Napaka helpful po nitong 5 tips na shinare nyo para matulungan mabawasan ang epekto sa kapaligiran sa araw ng menstruation.


Subscribe – it's free