The benefits of using a menstrual cup

Most of the time, when we think about ways to become sustainable we, most often, think of reusable water bottles, bamboo toothbrushes and bamboo utensils.

Probably, our first thought isn’t menstrual cups. This may be because it’s a product for women, however, it’s one of the sustainable products that is less talked about in the sustainable products conversation.

Likewise, because, besides the fact that it has a smaller group of consumers than reusable water bottles, it’s surrounded by myths, fear, and taboo.

Menstrual cups have been around since the 19th century. In June 14, 1884, Hiram Farr patented the Menstrual Receptacle which was a menstrual cup that was connected to a bag that sits in between the woman’s legs and that could be emptied when necessary.

In 1937, American actress Leona Chambers patented the first menstrual cup made from latex rubber. This cup was the first modern cup created that was similar to the contemporary ones women use.

[Menstrual cup.png by Wikimedia Commons. CC licensed.]

But, what makes menstrual cups sustainable?

Feminine hygiene products have a huge impact on our environment because they take 500-800 years to decompose and, if burnt, they will, most likely, release toxic chemicals into the atmosphere.

Sanitary napkins take 500-800 years to decompose because they contain super-absorbent polymers and a layer of polyethylene (both made of plastic).

[Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=246&v=ncDvVxd0t0A]

Menstrual cups are sustainable because they are reusable and can last up to 10 years which is a significant difference taking into consideration that a women approximately uses 2,640 pads and or tampons in 10 years.

[Fleurcup and tampons.jpg by Wikimedia Commons. CC licensed.]

According to The Chic Ecologist, 12 billion pads and seven million tampons pollute the landfills annually in the United States.

Meanwhile, The News Minute says that India’s menstrual waste is estimated to be 1,13,000 tonnes annually.

At the same time, the disposable products leave a carbon footprint of 5.3 kg CO2 equivalents expressed Shreya from Harvard Business School.

[Source: https://gph.to/2Q1hhIY]

References:

Coughlin, S. (2015, June 12). The First Menstrual Cup In History Was…Complicated. Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2015/06/89096/first-menstrual-cup-history
Dharmadhikari, S. (2018, December 31). Sustainable menstruation: Why it is time to switch to menstrual cups. Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/sustainable-menstruation-why-it-time-switch-menstrual-cups-94342
Edraki, F. (2017, November 03). Tampons, pads, cups: Which period product is best for the environment? Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-27/which-period-product-is-best-for-the-environment/9090658
Kurjanen, H. (2019, February 22). Short History of Menstrual Cups. Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://store.lunette.com/blogs/news/short-history-of-menstrual-cups
OrganiCup, T. (2018, April 20). Powerful Environmental Reasons To Switch To A Menstrual Cup. Retrieved from https://www.organicup.com/blog/powerful-environmental-reasons-to-switch-to-a-menstrual-cup/
Rastogi, N. S. (2010, March 16). What’s the environmental impact of my period? Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://slate.com/technology/2010/03/what-s-the-environmental-impact-of-my-period.html
S. (2016, November 04). The Ecological Impact of Feminine Hygiene Products. Retrieved May 09, 2019, from https://rctom.hbs.org/submission/the-ecological-impact-of-feminine-hygiene-products/
The Environmental Impact of Everyday Things. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2019, from https://www.thechicecologist.com/green-living/the-environmental-impact-of-everyday-things/

 

[Featured image: Photo by Charles. CC licensed.]

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4 thoughts on “The benefits of using a menstrual cup

  1. I’m very glad I came across this blog, since I had never heard of a menstrual cup and it’s function. It’s incredible how there are so many ways to make a product more sustainable and in ways you probably didn’t think were possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m happy too that you came across with my blog. Likewise, I’m ecstatic that you now know what a menstrual cup is and its sustainable aspects. That’s exactly what I’m trying to achieve in this blog. Feel free to click the follow button and stay tuned for more posts with information about sustainability!

      Like

  2. Great information! I’ve been using a menstrual cup for about a year and a half and I love it. As you said, the impact that feminine hygiene has in the environment is HUGE. It’s an easy swap any woman can make to be more sustainable.

    Liked by 1 person

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