Hey, we've all been there. The oh-so-tempting convenience of pulling out an uncomfortable tampon and wanting to flush it straight down the toilet seems like the perfect thing to do without making a mess. We hear you - and we wish it were true.
But please, whatever you do, do your part andnotrinse out your tampons – read on to learn more instead!
To flush or throw
Ladies who prefer rinsing away their used tampons rather than throwing them in the trash are usually concerned about unpleasant odors in the trash can, leaving an unpleasant sight and discretion, especially in public restrooms where it is common for trash cans to be missing liners .
It may seem that the easiest and best option for both women and the people who clean public toilets is to flush, but considering how many problems it causes, it might not be the best way, ours to dispose of tampons.
The most obvious problem is the plumbing - pads and tampons often cause clogs that cost not only money but time and a headache or two. For this reason, public restrooms often have signs reminding guests not to throw anything down the toilet bowl except toilet paper.
Tampons and clogged toilets
Some women are under the impression that if they don't have a septic system, you can flush all the tampons you want down the toilet. For background, if your house happens to have a septic tank, this is a single sewage facility owned by the person who owns the house. But if it is part of a sewage system then it is connected to other homes in the area and is the sole responsibility of the government.
Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to handle large volumes of sanitary waste, so it's important that you don't flush tampons down the toilet. But even if you're part of a sewage system, it's still not a good idea to flush your tampons.
Even the biodegradable tampons, which eventually decompose, take itmuchlonger than paper, which means it definitely won't happen while they're migrating through your pipes or sewage system.
In fact, tampons are designed to absorb liquid and expand, so they do the exact opposite of what toilet paper does when you flush it down the drain.
Items that shouldn't be flushed, like tampons, can clog your pipes on your property or cause major problems once they enter our sewage system. When sewage pipes come back up, sewage overflows, often from manholes. Untreated wastewater can enter various bodies of water.
Wait, so it's also bad for the environment?
Not only will it ruin your expensive plumbing system, but flushing tampons is extremely bad for the environment!
Unless your tampons get stuck in the sewer pipes and make their way to the treatment plant, the process of shredding and filtering them is quite expensive and, not to mention, a bit challenging. When done right, they just end up in a landfill - which is where they would have ended up if you had thrown them away in the first place - but when done wrong, which unfortunately is often the case, the results can be far worse...
While hygiene products are in some cases filtered out and disposed of in landfills, in many cases they do not and are instead disposed of in the sewerage system with the rest of the waste at sea. Since the products take a long time to decompose, they often end up not only in oceans, but also in rivers, streams, lakes and streams - completely unharmed! And because so many people use sanitary products — and many of them flush them down the toilet — the amount of plastic that ends up in various bodies of water because of sanitary products is staggering.
Actually about2.5 millionTampons are flushed down the toilet every day. And that doesn't even include panty liners and pads. Even if only a small percentage of that ends up in the oceans, that's still tons and tons of plastic per year. And this kind of contamination is not only bad news for the environment, but also extremely costly.
Products such as paper towels, wipes, and feminine hygiene products should never be rinsed, but often are,cause problems for utilitiesbillions of dollars in maintenance and repair costs - costs that are ultimately passed on to the consumer.
For example, in the UK an estimated 1.4 billion tampons are flushed each year. This contributes to a whopping $122 million in annual sewer unclogging costs -Huch!
And sure - while flushing your tampons down the toilet might seem classy in the sense that you're preventing them from ending up in landfill, the solid waste that doesn't end up in other waterways is stressed out and separated from the rest of the wastewater and on one One-way ticket sent directly to a landfill.
OK, so what is thisPreferablyway to dispose of tampons?
Great question! The answer is actually quite simple… just throw them in the trash!
Many public restrooms usually have labeled containers by their stalls, but if you're not in a public restroom - or if there isn't a labeled tampon container - just wrap your tampon in some toilet paper and throw it away in the trash!
Not a fan of tampons (or litter?) Try these.
Here are a few other more sustainable alternatives to consider:
One of the most popular zero-waste solutions for feminine hygiene ismenstrual cups. These super cups are bell-shaped devices made from comfortable and flexible medical-grade silicone. They are inserted into the vagina and used to collect menstrual fluid effectively.
Depending on how heavy your bleeding is, they should be emptied every four to twelve hours. The contents are simply flushed down the toilet and the cup rinsed out with lukewarm water before reinserting.
Once your period ends, the cup should be sterilized and stored properly.These revolutionary mugshold more menstrual fluid than your favorite tampon and can last for years with proper care and storage.Aside from being eco-friendly, menstrual cups are also a lot cheaper than pads and tampons -Bonus!
Reusable padsAndLinerare also excellent alternatives to tampons.They are used like regular pads, but instead of plastic mixed with some cotton, reusable pads are made from reusable cotton, bamboo, or even hemp. They contain no harmful chemicals and can easily be hand or machine washed.
With the help of a small disposable bag, you can get through the day with a few reusable pads.And for the ladies who are worried about how it might smell, rest assured that changing your reusable pad frequently will nip nasty odors in the bud.
Reusable padscan last five or more years with proper care.Considering that you only need about ten of these to get through this period, they're also very cheap in the long run.
Period proof panties
This is a great solution for light bleeding, but period-proof underwear can also serve as a good extra layer of protection for other feminine hygiene products. Period proof underwear is becoming increasingly popular because it is usually so comfortable and not to mention practical. There are also specially made workout shorts that can hold two tampons' worth of menstrual fluid and allow for comfortable workouts and workouts even during your menstrual period.
However, as popular as these super-absorbent panties are, some women are still a bit skeptical about leaving their periods in the hands of underwear.
A final word
Can you flush tampons down the toilet?
Yes youmay-- BUT,should you?Absolutely not!
Millions of hygiene items such as tampons are carelessly thrown down the toilet every day. While we don't really think about how to dispose of them, the truth is we should.
Not only do tampons clog sewer pipes and cost millions in repairs, but they also severely damage our planet by ending up in our many different waterways such as rivers, streams, and creeks, and eventually ending up in our beautiful ocean.
If you rely on itTamponsConsider throwing them in the trash during your time of the month instead of flushing them down the toilet. Or better yet, try a tampon alternative likemenstrual cupsAndreusable pads.
Look for a great company likeRaelnot only with a true passion for providing quality feminine hygiene products, but also with a true passion for making the planet a better place - period at a time.