I don’t know anyone who intentionally tosses the plastic applicators from their tampons onto their local beaches, but we find them when we catalog the plastics on our local shores. How do they get there? It seems that they are most likely flushed by people who are trying to do the right thing, and that they make their way through the filters of sewage treatment facilities and head to sea.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. There are tampons with biodegradable paper applicators like these, tampons with no applicators (aka digital tampons) like these, and reusable cups like the DivaCup and the Keeper and Moon Cup that last for years. You can make your own reusable cloth menstrual pads or find them online ready-made from an Etsy artist or a larger company such as GladRags and Lunapads. Use any of these, and you’ll never have to wonder if a plastic applicator at the beach might be yours, off on a sea voyage you never wanted it to take.
Interested in other zero waste ideas for your bathroom or personal care? Please visit our Trash Backwards app for more inspiration: