Going plastic free for my periods

When I decided to attempt Plastic Free July, I sat down and wrote a rough list of items that fall into my shopping basket each month that would be covered in plastic.

My list showed that the biggest offender was packaging. I made my way down the list writing down alternatives and feeling chuffed with my ideas. That was until I came to two items I buy each month – My pads and tampons. I felt deflated. These are covered in single use plastic. Essential woman items. I was stumped.

And like any other person who has an internet connection and a problem to solve, I turned to Google.I was going to apologise for sharing a post about periods but then I thought why should I? I don’t think it’s something we should be shy of. But if you are, that is OK.Google response to alternative tampons was a cup. Yep, a cup. They went by names like Diva Cup and Moon Cup.



They are made of medical grade silicon. And can be reused and reused and reused. All that is needed is water for cleaning and a comfortable relationship with your body because it does take practice to get it right the first time. Plus a little courage because some people might tell you that it is gross when they find out you reuse rather than dispose. I see tampon packaging and applicator waste gross.


Not to mention the chemicals that lurk in most sanitary products (not all, I know there are brands that focus on being kind to the female body). Its all about your own perspective and what you believe in and I believe in plastic free living.


Would I recommend it? Of course! The Builder can testify to my enthusiasm. He sat through a long speech about how happy I was to find a product that has allowed me to be kinder to the environment in a small way.I'd love to hear if you have used a cup or another alternative like a sponge. Prefer pads? Check out why I love my reusable pads. *Update: There is an Australian made cup available by the name of JuJu. If I had known this I would have purchased from them to save on packaging and support a local brand. However, I am happy with my Moon Cup.

21 comments

  1. Anonymous7/12/2013

    Hey- yay for getting the word out there! I use a brand made in Germany called 'Meluna'- which has a huge range of colours and styles (I like to personalise!) so you don't have to have a 'stem' and you can be pink...or black if you choose :-) Using cups has completely changed my (and many of my friends!) attitudes to my period. Its my life, my choice and I don;t have to put up with generating lots of smelly waste products! ..and Im now MUCH more in tune with my body ;-) now...any tips for plastic free liners?

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    1. You can buy cloth reusable liners from makers of cloth reusable pads =).

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  2. Anonymous7/12/2013

    Use it and love it! I also use fabric pads and no more sweat and smell and yes, it is so good I feel almost angry I wasn't told about this ten years ago!

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  3. Do you think it would be practical to use a cup all the time? I like the idea but I am worried about what would happen when using a public toilet, eg. at work, when there isn't a sink right there to rinse it. Was it too messy to use out and about?

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    1. Anonymous10/03/2016

      I think they can stay in for 12 hours so shouldn't be any need to change during work or when out and about.

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    2. It can depend on the type of period you have too. I need to empty mine often.

      Emma, when I am at work and need to use the washroom, there is no sink with easy access for rinsing. Instead I take a water bottle in with me. No hassle.

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  4. Anonymous7/13/2013

    GOOD JOB! I started using cloth pads years ago and found they work so well and are so comfortable they are all I need. But sometimes you want to go swimming and Aunt Flo comes to visit just then so the cup is useful to have on hand for those times. No waterlogged tampon yay.

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  5. Anonymous7/14/2013

    Good to see someone else has the courage to try these! I have been using a Lunette cup for about a year now, and I think it's such a great invention. I too hate using tampons and pads, and then having to throw away so much plastic every month. And even though they take a bit to get use to, you can practise with them even if you're not on your period (because of the silicon they don't have that 'dry' feel like tampons do). I would recommend these to every woman I know, but unfortunately a lot of people are grossed out by them, which is such a shame cos these have so many positives about them. (Oh and these are fantastic when you go travelling! No need to lug around a bag of tampons/pads anymore!)

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  6. Thank you for the comments! I am so glad the cup found its way into my life. I could not imagine going back.

    Emma, when I am at work and need to use the washroom, there is no sink with easy access for rinsing. Instead I take a water bottle in with me. No hassle.

    I will be doing a review on plastic free liners soon!

    xE

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  7. I'll be honest, I was grossed out when I heard of it a few months ago. But when you think about it, tampons are grosser, and soggy, and drip...

    I haven't switched yet, still looking for an affordable brand in South Africa, but am determined now to make the switch.

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    Replies
    1. Haha when you describe tampons like that they are kinda gross. Let me know if you find a brand in South Africa.

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  8. Anonymous8/25/2015

    Love my Luna cup! I find my cramping and back pain are significantly decreased with it versus a traditional tampon. I think the chemicals in the tampon causes my body to react.

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    1. That is so awesome to hear you have less pain.

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  9. Anonymous11/24/2015

    I 1st used a MoonCup about 8/9 years ago, my son had just been admitted to hospital and I had to stay with him, it was so easy not having to worry about leaking or changing..... I would never go back.... I'm more than happy to tell people about them

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    1. I love mine too! I would never go back either. A much better investment.

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  10. I have a JuJu Cup; and I bought it due to the fact it was Australian; couldn't imagine going back. After 6ish months I'm happy to spread the word.

    I must admit, that I first started using this after having Bubs#2; so I had no concerns about the "grossness" at all. After having a baby you've seen worse.

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    Replies
    1. Hahaha, that last line made me laugh. I am glad you are enjoying your cup :)

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  11. Anonymous1/13/2016

    I use homemade fabric pads at home and disposable tampons and pads when Im out simply because I have extremely heavy periods and fabric usually does not cut it. Otherwise it would be 100% fabric or (maybe?-yet to be convinced on safety)cups. Source of plastic free iron tablets anyone?

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    1. Hi, I have very heavy periods and the cup if great. It holds more than a tampon. I use my cup with my fabric pads and not had an issue. I have not found plastic free iron tablets...but i have upped my iron foods.

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  12. Anonymous2/12/2016

    Hi Erin thank you for sharing your experience! I am using cloth pads for 3 years from local company that produces cloth diapers. And it feels so great! I cant use normal pads because they are bleached with chlorine and my skin is so sensitive... I tried cups, two brands, but didn't work for me very well :/

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing your experience. It is good to see that so many people enjoy them. A shame about the cup though, but every woman' body is different. Did you email the companies with why they did not work?

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