So you’ve bid adieu to plastic water bottles, opting for a reusable metal one with a cool, palm-leaf-print pattern to reduce your footprint? Gold star for you! Unfortunately, if you’re a woman who menstruates, you’re creating garbage every time you unwrap a tampon (or pad or liner), and even more so if you’re using a plastic tampon applicator.
According to DAME, an eco-conscious brand that’s developing a reusable tampon applicator, approximately 100 billion period-related products (think tampons, applicators, wrappers and pads) get trashed every year, which is enough waste to wrap around Earth 250 times. Not to mention, this kind of waste can take up to 500 years to break down. It’s pretty horrific when you think about it.
The U.K. creators, Celia Pool and Alec Mills, recognized the massive amount of garbage generated from period products while running an already successful tampon subscription company that sold both disposable and reusable products, so they decided to create DAME.
The reusable tampon applicator is crafted from medical-grade material and has antiseptic and antimicrobial properties to keep bacteria at bay. It can also be sterilized in hot water, and is super simple to wipe and wash on the go. Plus, it comes in adorable travel packaging that’s discreet and can be easily tucked into a purse or carried into a washroom.
All you need to do to use it is slide a tampon of any size into the applicator, and use the base to push it in.
Currently, DAME — or D, for short — is raising awareness and funds on a Kickstarter page, and has already earned $19,000 of its $35,000 goal. Their website also includes a waste calculator that can help you figure out how much waste you throw away as a result of your period. For example, a woman who uses 10 to 20 tampons per period will send around 10,000 of them to the trash in her lifetime, which is equivalent to filling a car with plastic.
If the company reaches its financial goal, DAME will become available worldwide come June 2018. If this is something you could see yourself using, scroll on over to the company’s Kickstarter page and donate a few bucks. Your funds could help reduce plastic waste in the very near future. Until then, choose tampons sans applicators to avoid excess waste.