How to dispose of tampons

Posted: 2020-11-30 Author: Ethical Shift

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 reuse 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.

How to dispose of tampons

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Women use tampons during their menstrual cycles to soak up the blood. Many women are unsure of removing and disposing of their tampons properly. The problem is even bigger for those who look for a discreet way to get rid of tampons. No need for skip hire companies of professionals here, just some quick easy steps to follow. Read on!

Why not flush Tampons down the Toilet?

Research shows that women in the UK flush 2.5 million tampons down the toilet every day. Experts suggest never flushing tampons down the toilet. Three things belong down the toilet: poo, pee, and toilet paper.

Whilst not ideal, if you are using tampons made of 100% cotton material and have a septic tank, then it is possible and ok if you can flush it down the toilet.

On the other hand, if you have conventional tampons made of plastic overwraps, it won’t break up and as such should be disposed of in a different manner.

The same applies to other feminine products of the same material. This means you can’t flush wipes, applicators, pads, or tampons down the toilet.

After removing your tampon, you must dispose of it correctly. You may wish to put it in a discreet bathroom bin that can remove it from public eyes until a better time when you can properly dispose of them.

Otherwise, it will clog the toilet drain or pipes, and you have to call the plumber to unclog them, costing you some money.

How to dispose of tampons

How to Dispose of Tampons at Home?

Remove the tampon correctly by relaxing your pelvic muscles. Insert two fingers and grasp the product or its string and then pull it out gently. Check the tampon properly to ensure its pieces are not left in your vagina.

Once you have removed the tampon from your vagina, wrap a toilet paper around the tampon to prevent blood from dripping and protect your hands from contacting the blood on the product. Wrapping the tampon in the toilet paper is a great way to remain discreet and hidden.

After securing the tampon in the toilet paper, you will have to dispose of it in the garbage. Throw the tampon away in the garbage bin as soon as possible to avoid the mess and get rid of it discreetly.

Sometimes, tampons can produce a foul odour due to menstrual blood on it if you leave it out for a few days. Although you can keep your wrapped tampon in the bathroom cupboard or next to the garbage bin for a day or two, we recommend getting rid of it immediately is a wise idea.

How to Dispose of Tampons in a Public Washroom?

If you are not at home and want to get rid of your used tampon, you can dispose of it in the public washroom. Start the process by carefully removing the tampon from your vagina. Use a toilet paper to wrap the tampon to protect your hands from touching the blood or avoid dripping it on the washroom floor.

Make sure you wrap the product a few times in the toilet paper to dispose of it discreetly. Once you have covered it, use the small metal bin in the public washroom or toilet to throw the tampon. Some public toilets have dedicated containers labelled “tampons only.” After throwing the tampon in the bin, close the bin’s lid properly.