This initiative focuses on the potential carbon saving, cost savings and health impacts for the menstruating residents of Frome, as well as people experiencing incontinence, through switching to plastic free menstruation and incontinence products.
Did You Know?
On average a year’s worth of a typical menstrual product impacts on climate with a carbon footprint of 5.3kg CO2 equivalent. For the population of Frome that could mean a whopping 72,000kg of CO2e per year.
The average person who menstruates, who hasn’t yet made the switch to plastic free products, throws away up to 200kg of menstrual products in their lifetime. With estimates that period products are made of 90% plastic that’s a colossal amount of plastic being added to landfill, not to mention the amount of period waste that makes its way into our waterways.
And then there’s the financial cost – each period costs on average £10, that’s £130 a year and nearly £5,000 over a whole lifetime.
From a health perspective menstrual products often contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates, bisphenols and pesticides. Some of these chemicals are intentionally added, and others are unwanted contaminants. Brands don’t currently have to list ingredients so it’s hard to know which chemicals are in a product.
Discover the Alternatives
Switching to plastic free menstruation and incontinence products is the key to reducing all these negative environmental, financial and health impacts.
The plastic free options available vary and everyone has their own preference. Frome Town Council have put together a useful and comprehensive PDF guide answering questions about the different products available from period and incontinence pants to menstrual cups and washable pads.
Championing the Switch
The first wave of activity involved 1000 students across Frome engaging in educational workshops delivered in partnership with the Women’s Environmental Network and their Environmenstrual Ambassador.
We’ve encouraged nearly 60 people to take the Plastic Free. Period. pledge to switch to sustainable menstrual and incontinence products. That’s a saving of approx. 340kg of disposable/plastic-based period and waste entering the environment.
We’re continually engaging with Frome residents via Frome Families for the Future Plastic Free. Period. workshops and pop-up stalls and distributing period pants to individuals who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them.
Frome Town Council and Frome Medical Practice have created an inventory of locations where sustainable products are available in Frome, and have secured online discounts for residents who would like to try sustainable period and incontinence products.
We have secured a demo kit of different sustainable period and incontinence product options which we can now take to events and schools to help spread the word and raise awareness.
It feels like a no-brainer to make the switch but the prevalent stigma around menstruation and incontinence is still a big barrier – the more we can normalise and engage with our body and its needs whilst thinking about the impact our choices have on our planet the more we can break down these barriers and encourage more people to make the switch.
Want to Get Involved?
There’s a variety of ways to get involved whether that’s by making the switch yourself to helping to spread the word, volunteering at one of our events or even hosting your own.
If you’d like to chat with us about how you can get involved simply complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.