Sustainable periods

Sustainable period swaps: how to make your cycle more eco-friendly

Jasmine Wicks Stephens
Cycle care generates a staggering 200,000 metric tons of waste on an annual basis. With the ongoing environmental crisis, there is a clear need for period products to become more planet-friendly. From swapping single-use to reusable options, to getting clued up on materials, we’ve rounded up the best ways to care for both your cycle and the planet.

Tampon talk

The average woman goes through approximately 14,000 tampons in her lifetime, with 27,938 used tampons and applicators being found on beaches worldwide every single day. These staggering stats have led many next-gen brands to bring to life innovative alternatives.

Tampon alternatives haven’t just changed the game when it comes to protecting the planet, but they also earned major practicality points from women worldwide. Here are some swaps to consider if you’re looking for a sustainable sanitary care update:

Menstrual cups

If you’re an avid tampon user, consider trying a menstrual cup: game-changing when it comes to convenience, menstrual cups have rapidly raised in popularity over the last few years. They can be left in for up to twelve hours, with their lifespan stretching up to a year, according to Dr. Ruth Arumala. Scared about leaky situations? Dr. Arumala tells Glamour that, on average, your body releases the blood equivalent of a couple of teaspoons on a daily basis, which can be easily handled by most menstrual cups on the market.

Alongside the environmental benefits, the reusable nature of menstrual cups will also considerably cut your period care cost. In fact, Insider revealed that a menstrual cup can make your cycle 90% cheaper.

Reusable tampon applicators

If you’re not ready to completely ditch your trusty tampons, switching to a reusable applicator can also gain you major eco-points. Traditional plastic applicators take five hundred years to decompose. With ten billion of them being used worldwide on a daily basis, the environmental impact of tampons is nothing short of monumental.

Reusable applicators are incredibly user-friendly: they are compatible with all tampon sizes and can last up to 3,000 uses.

Going greener

With the ongoing pollution issue, many women-led start-ups have made it their mission to create tampons that are kinder to the environment. From ensuring everything from the packaging to the actual tampon is biodegradable, to providing savvy subscription services and recyclable delivery boxes, the market for sustainable cycle care options is only set to grow.

Pass the pad

Period pads are made from up to 90% plastic, and the average woman uses up to 11,000 disposable pads in her lifetime. This makes pads the fifth most common single-use plastic item on Europe’s beaches. An active contributor to period pollution, traditional pads are being ditched by women worldwide in favour of their sustainable alternatives.

Faace is proud to partner with social enterprise Hey Girls to donate sanitary products for every full sized Period Faace mask purchased

Period pants

One of the world’s favourite sustainable cycle swaps, period pants have seen an explosion in popularity, with many UK high street brands now stocking their own versions. Leak-resistant and generally able to absorb two tampons worth of blood, period pants are the way forward when it comes to saving the planet (and your cash). ‘To date, we have saved more than 30 million pads and tampons going to landfill,'' CEO of sustainable period care brand Wuka tells British Vogue.

Reusable pads

Reusable sanitary towels are usually made from a mix of layered flannel and super-absorbent cotton. Machine washable and often as (if not more) absorbent than their disposable counterparts, they have become a go-to for many women trying to up their eco game. A lot of them can be used for longer than your usual pad, with brands making options that can be worn for up to eight hours.

Extra eco-points

Whilst your actual period products are the biggest focus when supercharging your routine with sustainable options, being mindful of your cycle’s environmental impact when it comes to the beauty and wellness practices can also help you be more planet-friendly.

From switching to more sustainable skincare, to exploring new pain management options like CBD tampons (a fan-favourite period staple), the self-care moments around our periods can benefit for some sustainable swaps too.



Faace is proud to partner with social enterprise Hey Girls to donate sanitary products for every full sized Period Faace mask purchased. As well as working to end period poverty, Hey Girls is committed to producing sustainable period care products. Check out their collection of period pants, menstrual cups and much more at

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