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What Is Sustainable Menstruation?

Gain a better understanding of sustainable menstruation. We touch on sustainable menstruation practices and how to make a positive impact on the planet.

Sustainable menstruation is all about adopting environmentally friendly menstrual routines, whether that be using reusable products, or promoting responsible waste disposal habits.

Why does it matter on a global scale?

The average menstruating person uses around 22 products during each menstrual cycle, that may not sound like a lot, but when you think about the sheer number of period products used worldwide it’s clear this will of course be contributing to environmental challenges. This is why sustainable menstrual awareness is so important for all of us and highlighting alternative choices like menstrual cups and other reusable products is something we’re passionate about. It’s all about playing our part in creating a sustainable future for ourselves and the next generations.

How to embrace sustainable menstruation practice

We know your period is unique to you and using what products work for you is important, so we’re not saying you must eliminate all your current period product choices. Instead, you may want to consider swapping out one or two of your product formats whilst continuing to manage your period effectively. A great product swap is swapping to a liner instead of a pad for those lighter period flow days.

Embracing sustainable menstruation involves a conscious shift towards using products that are efficacious for you and gentle on the planet. Here are few of the options available that you may want to consider in the future and will make a difference:

 If you’re a tampon user and are interested in a fully reusable product you may want to consider menstrual cups, a great alternative to tampons and designed to collect menstrual fluid rather than absorb it. They can be worn for up to 8 hours before emptying, cleaning and reinserting. They’re, made of medical grade silicon, free from latex and if cleaned correctly can last for up to 12 years. If you’re not quite ready for this move, consider a reusable applicator which can be used in conjunction with non-applicator tampons. These alternatives are just two eco-friendly options you may want to consider to reduce the amount of period waste generated each year.

If pads are your preferred option, you will be pleased to hear that reusable pads and underwear are also becoming more and more popular and are ideal for light to medium flows.

  • Proper Disposal Methods:

We can’t stress enough how important this message is, please avoid flushing menstrual products down the toilet, they are designed to absorb large volumes of fluid and can, snag, block or clog up drainage pipes. And because they don’t break down like toilet tissue, they cause serious difficulties when reaching waste management facilities too.  Instead, dispose of used products in designated bins for proper waste management, or if at home wrap in toilet tissue or the wrapper of your new pad and dispose of with normal household waste.

  • Reduce Plastic Waste:

Choose menstrual products with minimal or no plastic content. Lil-Lets non-applicator tampons do not contain any pointless plastic. That means there's no plastic included where there's no use or purpose for it.

  • Choose Cruelty-Free Products:

Choosing cruelty-free products is a compassionate choice that ensures no harm is inflicted on animals during testing or production. This promotes a more humane and sustainable consumer industry.

  • Advocate for Sustainable Practices:

Encourage schools, businesses and organisations to provide eco-friendly period products. You can start with the organisations that you are involved with.

Key issues surrounding sustainable periods

Now that we understand the basics of sustainable menstruation, let's dive into the nitty-gritty. It's not just a trend; it's a response to some serious challenges. We have listed some of the most eye-opening issues:

  1. Flush Fiasco: Ever wondered where all those flushed tampons and pads end up? Well, it's estimated that between 1.5 - 2 billion single-use period products take the plunge down toilets each year – that's a whopping 4.6 million every single day! Not only is it harmful to marine life, but it also contributes to waste clogging up our sewage systems.
  2. Beach Woes: Head to the beach, and you might be surprised to find that around 10% of sewage-related debris is made up of period pads, liners, tampons, and applicators. Switching to reusables means way less waste, and that's a win for the oceans.
  3. Plastic Predicament: Many period products can contain up to 90% fossil-fuel-based plastic. This not only contributes to plastic pollution, but also underscores the urgency for sustainable alternatives that prioritise the health of our planet.
  4. Toxic Truth: Non-organic disposable period products can be a cocktail of toxic industrial chemicals – BPA, dioxins, pesticides, bleach, and fragrances. Manufacturers don't legally have to disclose what's in their products but Lil-Lets is all about transparency.

Remember, these aren't just facts and statistics; they're a call to action. Let's keep the conversation around sustainable menstruation going.

Learn more about sustainable menstruation

Sustainable menstruation is an important step towards a healthier planet. By embracing reusable products, reducing plastic waste and choosing cruelty-free options, we contribute to a more eco-friendly and compassionate world. At Lil-Lets, our commitment to sustainability is a no-brainer. 


  1. https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/services/recycling-waste-and-environment/recycling-and-waste/wasteaware-campaigns/sustainable-periods/sustainable-periods.aspx [Accessed: 23 January 2024]
  2. https://www.csusm.edu/sustainability/resources/sustainablemenstruation.html [Accessed: 23 January 2024]

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