A protest advocating plastic-free periods was held in Brighton on Sunday (July 1). Campaigners took part in the ‘Sea-Red’ march to highlight the importance of not flushing sanitary products into the water supply and switching to reusable options.
Organisations such as the Women’s Environmental Network, the Marine Conservation Society, along with plastic pollution organisation City To Sea and eco-friendly sanitary product brand Natracare were in attendance, spearheading the fight for plastic-free periods.
The protest was held in Brighton to highlight the impact that plastic period products are having on our coastlines. Brighton beach is one of the locations for the Great British Beach Clean, an annual event in which people come together to clean beaches and record what they found.
In a decade of beach cleans, the organisation has found 20,000 tampons, applicators and sanitary pads.
Plastics have been found to be used in a broad range of popular sanitary products, in order to aid insertion and stop fibre shredding, according to the Absorbent Hygiene Product Manufacturers Association (AHPMA).
Natalie Fee, founder of City To Sea, argues that something needs to be done about the amount of period product plastics reaching rivers and seas. “We’re all about raising awareness of the issue of plastic in period products and why we shouldn’t be flushing them down the loo,” she said.
The protest also aimed to raise awareness of the damage that can be caused by flushing the wrong products down the toilet. According to the Marine Conservation Society, thinking about how you disposal of “unflushable” products like wet wipes and cotton bud sticks is just as important when considering your environmental impact.
As well as finding plastic-free products where you can, the important thing is to know what products should and shouldn’t be flushed, in order to protect our rivers and sea.