Tampons are used during your period to soak up menstrual blood. Some people may be unsure or unaware of how to dispose of their tampons properly. Sometimes you may be trying to be discrete when disposing of your used tampons however it is best to follow the below steps to not only avoid any unforeseen issues but also to help improve our environment.
Most people attempt to flush their used tampons down the toilet as it's an easy method that doesn't appear to cause any mess and can avoid foul smells.
It is important that you don't flush your tampons down the toilet but instead dispose of them in the trash. You can wrap the tampon in toilet paper and place it in the bin. This will help stop the blood from getting everywhere as well as making it discreet and hidden.
It's advised that tampons are disposed of in a separate bin that can be emptied more frequently as after a few days the blood can start to smell.
If you are out in public you will want to dispose of the tampon in the same way described above but using a designated disposal bin or sanitary bin. The majority of women's toilets will have one of these and if they don't, simply wrap the tampon in toilet paper and throw it away in the nearest waste bin.
Why flushing tampons is not such a good idea
Tampons that are flushed down the toilet can and will cause blockages within the plumbing system. This is due to the way that they breakdown, they don't simply disintegrate much like toilet paper would. This can also lead to them in some cases, making their way to the sea and causing issues for sea life.
Flushing tampons present big problems to the wastewater treatment facilities since they cause damages to our septic systems. Wastewater treatment facilities are designed to only deal with wastes that can be easily broken down and passed through the system like tissue papers and human waste. Flushing tampons also lead to blockages in the treatment plants and cause an overflow of untreated wastes to the environment.
Tampon Recycling - What to and what to not recycle
The tampon itself can not be recycled, this is obvious as it acts as a sponge, and once used it cannot be properly cleaned or remade for secondary use. The tampon will need to be thrown in the trash wrapped in toilet paper.
You can also not resue the tampon applicator. This is due to its potential contact with human blood which is considered human waste and can have serious health implications. These will also be considered as non-recyclable due to their use and recycling streams will be unable to process them.
If the tampon package is made from cardboard and recyclable you will be able to recycle that to help the environment.
If you are looking for a recyclable option please have a look into menstrual cups, they are made from medical grade silicone and will catch the blood for you to dispose of later. You are then able to clean and reuse the cup itself.