Have you ever heard of the reusable tampon applicator?
If you haven’t, it's because it was only invented a couple of years ago in the UK. And we are slowly getting to know it.
Let’s start from scratch: what is a reusable applicator and why should we be interested in it.
There are 2 types of tampons; the ones without an applicator (the OB tampons) and the ones with a combined applicator (the Tampax tampons). Tampax tampons are the most commonly used type. The choices you make could be a matter of convenience, your level of body confidence or a “tradition” passed down by your mother. Your choice of OB tampons or Tampax tampons largely stems from your personal menstrual cycle experience growing up.
There is no right or wrong style of period product; the opportunity to have a choice is a privilege. An applicator is an excellent starter for using tampons if you’re a beginner or just starting your period. A reusable applicator is more practical, helps insert tampons efficiently and can be used multiple times.
Let’s be totally clear:
The reusable applicator can fit any kind of tampon (like OB tampons, that don’t come with a disposable applicator), for any flow and any brand. It’s antimicrobial, BPA free, latex and phthalate free, hypoallergenic and safe for your body and your vaginal mucosa.
It’s incredibly important to wash your hands before touching your intimate parts; once the tampon is inserted, you just need to wash your reusable applicator with soap and water (or if you can’t wash it right away, clean it with some toilet paper and then with water). Finally you can place it in its box - it’s the size of a lipstick so you can take it with you anywhere!
Why is it such a “cool” invention? Well, because we can all create a lot less waste.
90% of sanitary products are made from plastic. Everyone using Tampax tampons (including trans people and non-binary people that have periods) create 2 pieces of non-recyclable waste in one single use (the disposable applicator and the used tampon). This contributes to the 100 billion non-recyclable plastic waste that we produce every year.
Menstrual products are adding to the plastic epidemic, made worse by incorrect disposal.
The fifth most found product in European beaches is a tampon applicator. In the UK alone,1.3 billion of applicator waste is produced annually; traditional plastic applicators take 500 years to decompose. And people using Tampax tampons produce 12,000 non recyclable pieces of waste in applicators.
Menstrual products are also contributing to climate change; a year’s worth of single use sanitary products leaves a carbon footprint equivalent of 5.3 kg CO2. This is because many cotton tampons have small amounts of dioxin, a by-product from the formation of the synthetic carbon fibre rayon. Cotton tampons also have a host of pesticides from the cotton harvesting process. Considering that the average woman has her period for 2535 days in her life-time, buying a reusable product proves to be the best choice.
You may also like: How to Choose the Right Menstrual Cup
Being aware of the impact of our actions on humans and the planet plays a fundamental role in helping us make the right choice. Of course, not all of us have the luxury of making a choice; in the UK, 5.2 million women are in poverty and don’t have the money to purchase any sanitary products.
The reusable applicator is the right choice if:
- You usually use tampons (especially those with the disposable applicator)
- You don’t suffer from intimate pain or penetration pain
- You’d like to have a eco-friendly lifestyle
- You don’t want to change your period product but you’d like to create less waste
- You didn’t get along with menstrual cups and period-proof underwear
- Pads irritate your intimate parts
The reusable applicator comes with a totally recyclable packaging that contains 6 organic/compostable tampons (no chemicals or bleach); 3 for medium flow and 3 for intense flow.
So, are you ready to start a new menstrual journey?