What A Bloody Waste: Carbon Footprint Report on Menstrual Products Reveals Devastating Impact of Disposable Period Pants

What A Bloody Waste: Carbon Footprint Report on Menstrual Products Reveals Devastating Impact of Disposable Period Pants
19th April 2022 Samantha Anderson

What A Bloody Waste: Carbon Footprint Report on Menstrual Products Reveals Devastating Impact of Disposable Period Pants

  • One year’s worth of disposable pads and tampons for one person produces 8.9kg of CO2 emissions; the same as charging a mobile phone more than 1000 times.
  • We could save 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions – equivalent to 2.5 million return economy flights from London to New York – if 15 million menstruating Brits switched to reusable period pants made with sustainable materials.
  •  Just one pair of fully leak-proof period pants can save 200 single-use plastic-riddled disposables from going to landfill or polluting our oceans.
  • More than a third of British women are unaware of the environmental impact of single use sanitary products.
  •  To date, WUKA customers have prevented an estimated 3,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions; equivalent to planting 60,000 trees.

Commissioned by WUKA, the UK’s leading reusable period pants brand, Carbon Footprint has carried out a full investigation into the carbon footprint of disposable menstrual products.

The report (a short version of which can be viewed and downloaded here and the more detailed studies, here and here), found that switching to sustainably produced, reusable period pants can reduce an individual’s carbon footprint by six times compared to disposable pads and four times compared to tampons.

And then there’s the plastic waste; just one pair of fully leak-proof period pants can save 200 single-use plastic-riddled disposables from going to landfill or polluting our oceans.

Alongside the Carbon Footprint report, WUKA commissioned a OnePoll consumer insights survey, which showed that more than a third (36 percent) of British females are completely unaware of the impact that single-use period products have on the environment.

CEO and co-founder of WUKA, Ruby Raut, says: “It’s more important than ever that we’re all doing our bit to work towards a greener future. If 15 million women and individuals who menstruate in the UK switched to WUKA period pants, we could reduce carbon emissions by 4.2 million tonnes. That’s equal to more than 2.5 million return economy class flights from London to New York!

“Disposable products are also packed full of plastic, from the string on a tampon or the absorbent base in a sanitary pad, to the applicators and individual wrap packaging. And these plastic-riddled disposables are used by millions of women every month, so there’s an urgent need to think more sustainably and consider the alternatives.

“We need to raise the benchmark in the industry, push the government to take action, and join forces to educate consumers. Moving to reusables not only reduces our environmental impact, but also helps the menstruating population go more comfortably and confidently about their day-to-day lives. It’s a win-win.”

When faced with the realities of disposable period products, 42 percent of women admitted that knowing about the environmental consequences has made them consider switching from single-use products to reusable options, with more than half (53 percent) interested in learning more about the damage from single-use products.

Unsurprisingly, it’s the younger generation that is championing the move to reusable sanitary products. Almost 70 percent of Gen Z’ers have a strong awareness of reusable sanitary products and almost a quarter (23 percent) believe reusable period pants are the most environmentally friendly period alternative.

While reusable period products are steadily growing in popularity, the research showed that 67 percent of women still use single-use period products every month, with 24 percent of them spending up to a whopping £40 a year (or £1,600 over a lifetime) on period products alone, proving that the impact to the purse strings may be just as substantial a push factor as the environmental case to switch to reusable alternatives.

There are a number of factors that contribute to a product’s carbon and plastic footprint – manufacturing processes, materials, shipping, recycling commitments and carbon offset initiatives – which means that whilst reusable is always a better option than single-use, not all reusable products are equally eco-friendly, so it’s important to do your research.

By using sustainable materials such as Tencel™ and Organic Cotton, WUKA keeps its carbon footprint naturally small, and any carbon it can’t yet displace, it offsets. All WUKA undies are certified Carbon Neutral+ through supporting Verified Carbon Standard projects including tree planting, reducing deforestation, biosupply wastewater treatment and biogas utilisation.

To date, WUKA customers have prevented an estimated 3,500 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to planting 60,000 trees.

The full Carbon Footprint Report is available to read here and WUKA’s selection of period pants can be purchased at www.wuka.co.uk.

Consumer research stats in full

  •  67 percent of women use single use period products every month
  • More than a third (36 percent) say they didn’t realise single use sanitary products caused so much of a negative impact on the environment
  • 42 percent say that knowing reusable period pants have stopped a substantial number of tampons and pads from going to landfill has made them think again about switching their current use of single-use products to reusable options
  •  Three quarters (75 percent) say they think the British government should do more to make reusable period pants more available and increase the public’s knowledge of them
  •  More than a half (53 percent) would like to hear more about the environmental damage caused by single use period products
  • 24 percent spend up to £40 a year on period products
  • More than half of the women surveyed (55 percent) say men need to be more educated about the use of sustainable period products
  • Nearly a quarter (23 percent) think reusable period pants causes the least negative environmental impact

-Ends-

Notes to editors:

  • Carbon Footprint Report carried out in November 2021 by Carbon Footprint Ltd.
  • Consumer research carried out by OnePoll in November 2021
  • WUKA Co-Founder, Ruby Raut, is available for interview
  • Please contact us should you be interested in receiving product samples for review or for competition prizes
  • For more information on WUKA, visit www.wuka.co.uk

For further press information, please contact:
Elsa Findlay | Julie Aguilera-Kemp
Rooster PR
T: +44 (0)20 3440 8930
E: [email protected]

About WUKA
Founded in 2017 by husband and wife team, Ruby Raut and Dave Slocombe, WUKA is the UK’s leading period wear brand and was the first in the UK to produce fully leak-proof reusable period underwear that completely replaces the need for pads and tampons. Just one pair of WUKA period pants can save 200 single-use plastic-riddled disposables from going to landfill or polluting our oceans.

WUKA stands for Wake Up Kick Ass; because nothing should hold women back when on their period. The brand strives to empower the menstruating population, improve access to quality, sustainable period products, eliminate period poverty, and remove period shame and stigma.

Offering a range of award-winning undies to suit different menstrual flows, WUKA period pants hold from two to six tampons worth of period blood; the highest absorbency of any other period products. They are also available in the most extensive range of sizes on the market – from XXS, right up to 6XL.

WUKA also offers period leggings, period sports shorts, period swim bikini briefs, and a number of period accessories and gifts, including a wearable hot water bottle, wash bags, period wellness sets, and starter kits for tweens and teens.

All WUKA products are mindfully created, using the highest quality planet-friendly fabrics, to be both great for the body and good for the environment. From the Better Cotton Initiative, Organic Certified, to Vegan, PETA approved and certified Carbon Neutral+, WUKA underwear is all accredited and designed with the future in mind. Equality, inclusivity, and social & environmental responsibility are at the heart of everything WUKA does.

WUKA is available in Morrisons, Superdrug, Planet Organic, Urban Outfitters, and a range of independent zero waste and fashion retailers. You can also purchase WUKA products direct from the WUKA website.

www.wuka.co.uk

Follow WUKA on Instagram: @wukawear