I’ll admit that for years I didn’t truly think about the impact the period products I was using had on the environment. When you are young you are just confused and stressed about having a period that you just want to deal with and not think about it. Then you start to grow up and come to terms with it and it becomes less of a taboo topic amongst friends, so funny stories and tips & tricks get shared. Then as you come into adulthood and start to make purchasing decisions sticking to what you’ve always known seems easy. However, all of a sudden there are all these new options out there which is liberating but potentially overwhelming. 


As I came into adulthood I started to realise my purchasing power and began to think about what type of consumer I wanted to be. I like to think I’ve always been environmentally driven and now more than ever as environmental anxiety rears its distressed head. So I found swapping out products for more environmental alternatives makes everything feel a little better not to mention they just tend to be better products and last longer. 


One aspect of this was of course period products, when I learnt about how much waste I had already contributed to landfills just through period products I was shocked. Let’s do the math shall we, basing this on “averages” but as we know there usually tend to be those situations where more products are used because we either go swimming or just want to be covered in case our period isn’t over. 

On average:

We use 5 tampons a day and a period lasts 5 days = 25 tampons used 

$0.30/£20 per tampon = $7.5/£5

13 periods a year = $97.50/£65

Therefore, swapping to a reusable period product that can be reused like period underwear can save you money! Period underwear if taken care of can last up to 5 years. Therefore, buying a 3-pack for example is less than what would you spend on period products in a year. So, you’re practically making money before the year ends, girl math. 


Ok, now we’ve covered the fact that we’re rolling in it, let's feel even better about the swap in terms of environmental factors. Above we looked at how much waste we are producing from periods in just one year well let’s say we never wised up and made the swap. How much waste would we be producing in our lifetime? … on average, we dispose of about 12,000 used sanitary products in a lifetime. This equates to about 200kg per person of period products going into landfill. Keep in mind that most period products are made up of plastic and are non-biodegradable, taking about 500 to 800 years to decompose


Unfortunately, the issues with single-use period products don’t stop there. One thing I was most shocked to learn is how much these products are disposed of incorrectly. Did you know that it’s estimated that 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day in the UKBecause of this even more micro-plastics are entering the waterways as these products slowly degrade. 


Menstrual waste is also finding its way onto beaches, data from the Marine Conservation Society shows that on average, 4.8 pieces of menstrual waste are found per 100 meters of beach cleaned; this amounts to 4 pads, panty-liners and backing strips, along with at least one tampon and applicator.


Not sure about you but that’s something I wasn’t happy contributing to. Hence it was a big part of why I started POM. By using period underwear instead of traditional period products you are already stopping your contribution of period waste into landfills but I wanted POM to be as helpful as possible. So, all of our period underwear is made from organic cotton or organic bamboo as these are natural materials. Unlike other period underwear on the market that is made from synthetic materials, which seemed strange to me as an environmental product. Our packaging is also made from recycled paper and our shipping bags are biodegradable. There will always be more we can do for the environment but for now and as a small start-up, I am proud of what we are already bringing to the table. 

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