ABC’s War on Waste: “Tampons, pads, menstrual cups, period underwear: What's best for the environment?”

Here’s a piece from the ABC series “War on Waste”, comparing different menstrual products: ““Tampons, pads, menstrual cups, period underwear: What's best for the environment?”

Unsurprisingly it concludes that menstrual cups and menstrual underwear have the least environmental impact. It’s an informative piece – for example describing all the clogged up pipes and waterways from people flushing tampons down the toilet – but I think some of the emphasis on personal guilt is unhelpful. There are lots of other reasons to think about the best option.

I’m in my 20s and more and more people my age are using them because of the environmental and cost factors.
— Selena, a cup convert (ABC war on waste)

The piece also continues a common misconception that you need to rinse a cup out in public: "but if I'm at work, and I want to change it, I'd have to change it at the sink. That doesn't feel right," Jess says.  

While you could rinse out the cup in public (and some people certainly do), in practice many cup users instead (and perfectly safely) either rinse it in the toilet (with bottled water, or wiping down with paper), or don’t change it in public at all. An advantage of cups is you only need to change them every 12 hours. Instead you can wash them at the end of the day at home. For this reason some people find cups less awkward at work, as you don’t have to cart disposable products back and forth.

Just a few thoughts – no option is perfect for everyone for all situations or people.

Update: The SoftCup is now the FlexFit

SoftCups are a halfway product between disposable and reusable, that allow you to have mess-free sex during your period. What was once SoftCups have recently been purchased and rebranded by the Flex Company. They are now known as Flex / Flex Fits. Currently you can only order from their website (https://flexfits.com/) to the USA and UK, but they plan to expand soon. A few people have asked about where to source SoftCups now so hopefully there will be updates available shortly!

https://flexfits.com/

https://flexfits.com/

https://flexfits.com/

https://flexfits.com/

Theodora Lee supports donation of 4,000 menstrual cups to South African school girls

Theodora Lee supports donation of 4,000 menstrual cups to South African school girls

YouTube vlogger Theodora Lee has led a successful campaign to distribute over 2,000 (later 4,000) menstrual cups (LilyCup Compacts) to school girls in South Africa who cannot afford disposable sanitary items. Supporting the free or low cost distribution of menstrual cups can go some way to expanding the choices available to girls who often have to miss school due during their periods. 

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Bibi van der Zee and Katherine Purvis For the Guardian “We don't know enough about menstruation and girls are paying a price”

Bibi van der Zee and Katherine Purvis For the Guardian “We don't know enough about menstruation and girls are paying a price”

A report by Bibi van der Zee and Katherine Purvis For the Guardian looks at recent research on menstruation, and the impacts of menstrual hygiene on the lives of young girls and women in low-income countries. Menstrual cups are playing an important role in improving the options available. 

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Switching from tampons to a menstrual cup 'can improve a woman's sex life' (and the survey behind the Tabloid headings)

Switching from tampons to a menstrual cup 'can improve a woman's sex life' (and the survey behind the Tabloid headings)

There’s been a flurry of articles on menstrual cups over the past week with a bit of a tabloid twist. Sex sells, and apparently to the list of rituals to salvage your sex life can be added the menstrual cup. A discussion of one of the tabloid take on menstrual cups, and of the survey of 1,500 women that lies behind the exciting headings. 

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Blood Money: The Race to Crack India’s Menstrual Market (Rebecca Hobson for Broadly / Vice Magazine)

Blood Money: The Race to Crack India’s Menstrual Market (Rebecca Hobson for Broadly / Vice Magazine)

Rebecca Hobson from Broadly / Vice Magazine wrote recently about the race to crack India’s menstrual market. The article notes that the vast majority of women in India don't use sanitary products, instead relying on everything from cow dung and newspapers when it comes to that time of the month. But local entrepreneurs are determined to change that with reusable pads, menstrual cups, and pad-producing machines.

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Trying the Lily Cup Compact

Trying the Lily Cup Compact

Recently, a menstrual cup brand getting a lot of attention has been the Lily Cup Compact. The innovative part of the LilyCup Compact is that it is collapsible: meaning It folds down almost flat, so you can carry it around in a very small disc-like container. As I was curious about this new type of cup, I ordered one from Australia and checked out the folding mechanism.

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