Your Bod

Should you flush tampons? Here’s how to properly dispose of your period products

You're not the only one questioning whether or not to flush that tampon down the drain. Although it might seem like the easiest way to dispose of your period products, it's definitely not the best.

Should you flush tampons?

The quick answer to this is no. Flushing your tampons might be tempting; if it's out of sight then it's out of mind, right? Wrong. Tampons can clog pipes (and toilets) causing *major* issues. Does anyone *really* want to see a bloody, clogged toilet?

Although tampons are 100% cotton, they can't breakdown in water. When tampons are flushed, they absorb and expand. This distrupts wastewater systems and blocks water from getting through. The only things that can be flushed are human waste and toilet paper. (Nope - not even "flushable" wipes!)

How does it affect the environment? 

It can takes months (even years) for tampons to disintigrate. When pipes get clogged, they can backup the sewage system and cause an overflow of wastewater. It flows into streets and rivers, pulluting land and water. 

What do the experts say?

Popular tampon brands like Tampax and Lola are against flushing tampons. If you check their boxes, they explicitely tell you not to flush. If you go into a public restroom, most likely there are signs saying the same thing. 

Image: Lola Compact Plastic Applicator Tampons

What's the *best* way to dispose of my tampons?

Wrap up your tampon with toilet paper or tissue and throw it in the trash can. If you don't have access to a garbage bin, you can also use disposable bags. (These are biodegradable!) Tampax makes tampons with discreet wrappers *perfect* for disposing tampons easily and correctly.  

How can I be more environmentally friendly?

Tampons and tampon applicators cannot be recycled. The applicators come into contact with blood (human waste), making them unable to be processed. However, most tampon box packaging can be recycled. 

You can also use biodegradable, 100% organic cotton tampons from Lola or The Honey Pot Company. They are both hypoallergenic and free of chemicals, toxins and dyes.

Do you want to go *completely* reusable? Try using period-proof underwear (like Thinx) or a menstrual cup to get rid of tampon disposal *forever*.

We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.


by Allie Lijewski | 10/21/2020