Real Talk: How Green Is Your Period?

Periods are having a moment, and we're 100% here for it. From collectives like The Pink Protest and Bloody Good Period working to end period poverty to major retailers absorbing the "Tampon tax," and empowering conversations happening all over social media and IRL, 2018 might just be the year we see periods achieve some semblance of normalisation. But while we've finally given change-driving power to our collective periods and gotten a handle on period pain, there's one topic that keeps raising its head: How green are our periods? Of course, we're talking about environmental sustainability here—specifically, the topical issue of plastic waste.

If you've never stopped to consider this before, just wait until you hear the stats: Period products count for 200,000 tonnes of waste per year. While a large amount of this waste is either incinerated or, problematic still, sent to landfill, lots of it is unfortunately making its way into the environment. In fact, one in every 100 pieces of plastic currently in our oceans is either a tampon applicator, sanitary pad or wipe. Argh. But as luck would have it—this is the year of the period, after all—a slew of incredible innovations and clever initiatives have arrived to help curb the issue.

Even better, many are focused on not only bringing down plastic waste, but also making periods easier to manage and healthier for our bodies in general, too. Because who doesn't want fewer worries about toxic shock syndrome? So if you're ready for action, keep scrolling for four easy ways to reduce the impact of your period products on the environment. And who knows—maybe Mother Nature will reward us all by finally shelving PMT?