[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”119239″ img_size=”full”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”30″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_custom_heading text=”Menstrual Products, Nappies & Wet Wipes” font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_column_text]The waste generation of single-use menstrual products, baby nappies and wet wipes accounts for approximately 7,832,000 tonnes (equivalent to 15.3kg per inhabitant per year) of waste annually within the EU-28.

 

At Zero Waste Europe we are working collaboratively at the European, National, and Local level to push legislation, provide support and amplify emerging solutions to single-use menstrual products, nappies and wet wipes. Similarly, we are working to expose the impacts of these single-use products in contrast to the the benefits of reusable solutions.

 

To address these challenges, alongside our member ReZero we completed two large studies on menstrual items, baby nappies and wet wipes looking first at the economic and environmental impacts of these items, then the legal and policy opportunities for change, followed by a policy paper providing direct recommendations to the EU and Member States. We also worked with Reloop to provide comment on material substitution under the Single Use Plastics Directive.[/vc_column_text][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”102317″ img_size=”360×510″ onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://zerowasteeurope.eu/library/the-environmental-economic-costs-of-single-use-menstrual-products-baby-nappies-wet-wipes/”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”105456″ img_size=”360×510″ onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://zerowasteeurope.eu/library/existing-measures-policy-recommendations-to-minimise-the-impact-of-menstrual-products-nappies-wet-wipes/”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”105471″ img_size=”360×510″ onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://zerowasteeurope.eu/library/policy-briefing-on-menstrual-products-nappies-wet-wipes/”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”109490″ img_size=”360×510″ onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://zerowasteeurope.eu/library/material-substitution-within-the-sup-directive/”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]By implementing the recommendations outlined in these reports, the future scenario for menstrual products, baby nappies and wet wipes in the EU-28 would look very different. With the target of 60% prevention and reuse, waste generation would be reduced by 4,699,200 tonnes in 2040. Of the remaining 3,132,800 tonnes, 90% should be separately collected for recycling, and only 10% would need to be treated as residual waste. This means reducing residual waste in this sector from 7,832,00 tonnes to 313,280 by 2040, that is an overall reduction of residual waste of 96% in 20 years.[/vc_column_text][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_custom_heading text=”#reusablenappyweek 2021″ font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_column_text]#ReusableNappyWeek is an annual week of action from the 19th-25th of April to put the spotlight on reusable nappies.

 

Single-use baby nappies are a significant source of waste in Europe – generating around 6,731,000 tonnes of waste annually. The varied composition of these products, together with the presence of organic matter/excreta after use, makes their recycling technically and economically complex and expensive. Therefore, in Europe these products typically end up in landfills (87%) or are incinerated (13%), wasting resources and resulting in negative environmental impacts.

 

Reusable nappies have proven to be environmentally-friendly (saving resources and generating 99% less waste than their single-use counterpart), as well as more cost-efficient for both families and public authorities (when it comes to the management of this waste stream). There is also emerging evidence that they could be safer for babies.

 

During #ReusableNappyWeek, we showcase the great work and initiatives happening all across Europe and beyond on reusable nappies. Whether it’s raising awareness, demanding action from producers and suppliers, or asking for policy change at the national and European level… we need to start talking about reusable nappies, and start taking action to make them mainstream![/vc_column_text][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_btn title=”Visit the #reusabelnappyweek webpage” color=”peacoc” size=”lg” i_icon_fontawesome=”fas fa-hand-point-up” add_icon=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breakfreefromplastic.org%2Freusablenappyweek%2F|target:_blank”][vc_btn title=”Read the policy paper” color=”peacoc” size=”lg” i_icon_fontawesome=”fas fa-hand-point-up” add_icon=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fzerowasteeurope.eu%2Flibrary%2Fpolicy-briefing-reusable-nappy%2F|title:COMING%20SOON%20%E2%80%93%20Shit%20got%20real%20for%20nappies%3A%20It%E2%80%99s%20time%20to%20clear%20out%20plastic%20%26%20chemicals%20from%20nappies%2C%20not%20the%20poop” css=”.vc_custom_1618384435526{margin-right: 10px !important;margin-left: 10px !important;}”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”40″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_custom_heading text=”#environmenstrualweek 2020″ font_container=”tag:h1|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”30″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_column_text]Founded by Women’s Environmental Network, #environmenstrualweek is an annual week of action from the 19th-25th of October to put the spotlight on periods.

 

Menstrual products are a significant source of waste in Europe – generating around 590,000 tonnes of waste annually – and there is work to be done to make eco-friendly, toxic and plastic free products readily available for menstruators. This week, we will amplify and magnify the work happening all across Europe and beyond. Whether it’s raising awareness, breaking the taboo, skilling up educators, demanding action from producers and suppliers, or asking for policy change at the national and European level… we need to start talking about periods, and start taking action to build a better world![/vc_column_text][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”30″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_custom_heading text=”#environmenstrualweek activities:” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”114981″ img_size=”large” onclick=”custom_link” link=”https://zerowasteeurope.eu/library/the-bloody-manifesto/”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][dfd_videoplayer video_link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CMI3FZJ770E” main_style=”style-1″ gen_border_radius=”5″ video_thumb=”114281″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][dfd_videoplayer video_link=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvyULuAgSCw” main_style=”style-1″ gen_border_radius=”5″ video_thumb=”114582″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_btn title=”Visit the #environmenstrualweek webpage” color=”peacoc” size=”lg” i_icon_fontawesome=”fas fa-hand-point-up” add_icon=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.breakfreefromplastic.org%2Fenvironmenstrual-week%2F|target:_blank”][vc_btn title=”Sign the Bloody Manifesto” color=”peacoc” size=”lg” i_icon_fontawesome=”fas fa-hand-point-up” add_icon=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fzerowasteeurope.eu%2Flibrary%2Fthe-bloody-manifesto%2F” css=”.vc_custom_1603702763630{margin-right: 10px !important;margin-left: 10px !important;}”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”FAQs about zero waste menstrual products” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][vc_column_text]This information aims to provide some basic overview about the most common reusable menstrual products on the market as well as addressing the most frequently asked questions about them. It is also intended to guide and encourage people that don’t know about these products- or are curious to know more – to embark into this life changing experience with your period!

 

Disclaimer: The information here provided was based on non-expert online research found on various web pages of menstrual products’ brands and blogs on the topic, as well as on personal experience of some Break Free From Plastic members. For expert guidance, please read the instructions for your specific menstrual product and in case needed please reach out to your professional health care representative (i.e: gynecologist or general practitioner).[/vc_column_text][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”25″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][dfd_accordion active_section=”1″ font_size=”15″][vc_tta_section title=”Period Underwear / Panties” tab_id=”1605623975455-01259ad8-71d1″][vc_column_text]

What is it?

Period underwear are usually fabricated using combined tissues. They typically have layers of cotton and waterproof material. The area in direct contact with the vulva is usually made of cotton. Underneath, there is the technical tissue, which is absorbent, waterproof, antibacterial and breathable. The absorbent material can hold one to two tampons’ worth of flow, and there is a barrier to keep you comfortable, and a layer designed to prevent any leaks or staining. They are washable and reusable and can last for many years depending on the brand with an average from 3 to 5 years.

 

Will it absorb all my flow, even a heavier one? 

Yes, most brands offer different sizes and designs to meet your lighter or heavier flow needs. They’re also offered in a wide variety of colours and cuts, from ultra femme lacy thongs to boy shorts. Many brands also have a sleep-specific panty too with extra coverage for side and rear leak protection.

 

How many pairs of period underwear do I need? 

It depends on the length of your flow and if you’re laundering every day or not. If the period takes around seven days and you don’t do washing regularly you probably want to have a full five-to seven-day set.

 

How to care for period underwear? 
  • Wash: If machine washing, first place them in a washable mesh bag and wash in a cool or cold wash (30 degrees celsius max) in a delicate or gentle cycle. To make your underwear last, you can also consider hand-washing it with a mild detergent. Ideally you can wash it within 24 hours, or cold soak until the end of your period.
  • Dry: Do not put it in the tumble drier, let it air dry, such as hanging it out to dry on a washing line or inside on an airer.
  • Treat: Period underwear are designed to be stain-resistant and shouldn’t retain a scent if washed properly, but if you are worried about stains or smells you can soak them in vinegar/water mixture prior to laundering, too.

 

Still hesitant to make the switch? Many users first start with lighter flow days before graduating to full-time use. Give it a try!

 

Some period underwear brands: Thinx (UK), ModiBodi (UK, US, AUS, NZ), Réjeanne (FR), SMOON (FR), Panties (BRA), Kora Mikino (GR), Ooia (GR), Femties (GR), Emilla (HU), this is Redy (HU) & Timo Design (HU).  Please note that Zero Waste Europe does not hold any partnership deals with these brands, they were recommended by our taskforce members personally. We also acknowledge that this is not an extensive list by any means. [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Reusable Period Pads” tab_id=”1605623975525-38285139-a905″][vc_column_text]

What is it?

Reusable period pads are cloth pads worn in the underwear to prevent menstrual fluid from leaking onto clothes. They are used in the same way as the single-use pads but instead of throwing them away after usage, they can be washed, dried and then reused. Generally, they are made from layers of absorbent fabrics (such as cotton or hemp) used to absorb the flow of blood from the vagina, or to protect the underwear from regular discharge of vaginal fluids. Cloth pads tend to “breathe” better than single-use items because they aren’t made of plastic (although some cloth pads have a waterproof breathable lining). The cloth pads can last between 2 to 5 years.

 

Will it absorb all my flow, even a heavier one? 

Yes, most brands offer different sizes and designs to meet your lighter or heavier flow needs. They’re also offered in a wide variety of colours.

 

How many pairs of reusable menstrual pads do I need? 

It depends on the length of your flow and if you’re laundering every day or not. If the period takes around seven days and you don’t do washing regularly you probably want to have a full five-to seven-day set.

 

How to care for period underwear?

The recommended care follows the same principle as the period underwear (above).

 

Still hesitant to make the switch? Many users first start with lighter flow days before graduating to full-time use. Give it a try!

 

Some reusable pad brands: The banana basket (NL), EcoFemme (worldwide), ImseVimse (UK), Hoopla Sewing (HU), Puppee (HU), Gagnes (HU), Csillandi (HU), 3ME (HU) & Gero baba (HU). Please note that Zero Waste Europe does not hold any partnership deals with these brands, they were recommended by our taskforce members personally. We also acknowledge that this is not an extensive list by any means. [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Menstrual Cup” tab_id=”1605624433026-b354b593-85b2″][vc_column_text]

What is it?

It is a flexible cup designed for use inside the vagina during the period to collect menstrual blood. The cup collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbing it like tampons or pads do. It has a bell-shaped design like a bell with a stem, which is used for insertion and removal. The cup can be easily emptied, rinsed and reused as many times as is necessary. Menstrual cups are usually made of flexible medical grade silicone, although latex and thermoplastic elastomer are also options. According to the information from different manufacturers, the reusable menstrual cups can last up to 10 years.

 

How to sanitize your menstrual cup:

Sanitizing your menstrual cup is recommended by most brands, especially before using your period cup for the first time. Boiling the cup is the most common sanitising procedure. You can sanitise your cup before or after each cycle. You can boil your cup by placing it inside of a whisk (so you can easily remove it) and leaving it inside a boiling pot of water for 3-5 minutes.

 

Which menstrual cup is the most suitable for me?

To find the right size and cup for you, you will need to first measure your cervix. To do that we recommend checking the following links: How To Choose The Right Cup For You or How To Find Your Cervix & Check Its Position For A Menstrual Cup

 

How to insert and remove the menstrual cup?

There are many ways to either insert it and remove it. You can find the way that works best for you. We recommend checking the following links: How To Insert A Menstrual Cup, How To Remove A Menstrual Cup9 Great Menstrual Cup Folds.

 

For how long can I wear the menstrual cup:

A menstrual cup can be worn safely for up to twelve hours. If you have a heavier flow, you may opt to rinse it with water in-between your twice daily washes.

 

Is it safe to sleep with a menstrual cup?

Yes. As stated above, an average cup can usually be worn for up to 12 hours, so you don’t have to worry about getting up in the middle of the night to empty your cup.

 

How often should I empty my menstrual cup?

It depends on how heavy your flow is. But it’s usually recommended that you empty your menstrual cup every 12 hours.

 

Cleaning and washing recommendations:
  • At home: wash it between uses with gentle soaps free of harsh dyes, perfumes, and additives that may cause irritation to your skin or damage the cup.
  • In a public restroom: simply remove the cup, dump contents into the toilet, and wipe the cup out with a few squares of toilet paper. 
  • At someone’s restroom (with a sink): simply wash it out with warm water.

 

Useful sources: Put a Cup in It (everything you need to know about cups: what it is, how to wash it, which one to buy it, folding tips, etc.). Also check their Menstrual Cup FAQ and their Youtube Channel with straightforward videos answering many of our questions!

 

Tips from gynecologists: A Gynecologist’s opinion on menstrual cups22 Top Questions on Menstrual Cups Answered by Flo Ob-Gyn and How to Use a Period Cup With Minimal Stress and Mess, According to Ob/Gyns

 

Some brands: OrganicCup (Worldwide), Me Luna (GR), Mooncup (UK), Lunette (Worldwide), Lamazuma (FR), RubyCup (SP), Ladycup (HU) & Hormonmentes.hu (HU). Please note that Zero Waste Europe does not hold any partnership deals with these brands, they were recommended by our taskforce members personally. We also acknowledge that this is not an extensive list by any means. [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/dfd_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][dfd_spacer screen_wide_spacer_size=”80″ screen_normal_resolution=”1024″ screen_tablet_resolution=”800″ screen_mobile_resolution=”480″][dfd_blog_posts posts_to_show=”3″ items_offset=”20″ columns=”3″ carousel_slideshow_speed=”5000″ thumb_rounded=”6″ post_content_style=”full” post_categories=”consumption-production” post_style=”carousel”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][/vc_row]