It’s a pretty grim thought, but normal tampons and pads contain plastic. Something we use in the most intimate way, contains chemicals that can leach into our bodies. And that plastic, well, that means those items aren’t going anywhere fast! Thankfully, there are lots of alternatives.



Natracare products are widely available in health food stores and other ‘green’ places. The tampons and pads are free from plastic, and, and the wrappers are made from compostable materials.

TOTM (Time Of The Month) are a company with high ethical standards. The tampons, pads and liners are made using non GM-organic cotton and are wrapped in biofilm wrappers. Sign up for a super-easy monthly subscription and they even deliver in carbon positive sugarcane mailing bags!

Yoni are another one to look up. Again, the products are all organic cotton, and use compostable wrappers and backing sticker strips. Buy direct online, or they’re stocked by Sainsbury’s and Planet Organic.



Without a doubt, first choice for every eco-warrior. A one-off purchase that should last for years, completely eliminating waste.

As the name suggests, it’s a silicone ‘cup’ that you insert inside your vagina, that you simply take out, wash, and use again.

Silicone is a food-grade material that doesn’t leach toxic chemicals in the way that traditional plastics do, so it’s body-safe.

They take a bit of getting used to, but once you’re down with it, you’re down for life. It’s worth doing a bit of research, as (unsurprisingly) different ones tend to suit different people.

Here’s a good little guide to a few of the ones available in the UK.


washable pads & period pants

The thought of washable period protection can initially be a be ‘eeew’, but once you get over that, these are so much better.

Two ideas. Cloth sanitary pads, or CSP’s. I like the one’s from Baba and Boo which are made of an outer layer of bamboo charcoal fleece, which is very soft and super-absorbent. Inside the pad is an absorbent layer of microfibre and a layer of waterproof PUL.

Even better, but r-e-a-l-l-y un-photogenic, are period-proof-undies with built in protection. My big old hip-huggers are from Modibodi, which I like because they are made of bamboo (sustainable fabric - tick). Thinx are another good option, but ship from the US. Expensive, yes, but when you consider the average woman uses 11,000 sanitary items, investing in reusables has to be the way to go.


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