To flush or not to flush?

We've all been there, we've all done it. I am talking about flushing a tampon down the toilet. Maybe you have always flushed because you thought you could? Or maybe you try your best not to flush, but occasionally get caught out at a friend's house or an ill-equipped office toilet. Don't beat yourself up! You aren't alone. But what actually happens to them after they are flushed down the toilet? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not a good one.


What happens when a tampon is flushed?

When a tampon is flushed down the toilet, it can cause a number of problems for the plumbing system. Tampons, by their very nature, are designed to absorb liquid, which means that they can quickly become swollen and heavy when wet. This can cause them to become lodged in pipes or sewage systems, leading to clogs and backups.

According to the Women's Environmental Network in the UK, along with wet wipes, "feminine hygiene products" (please don't use the word "hygiene" - periods are not unhygienic...grrrrr) are the top seven items that cause 300,000 sewer blockages every year.


And there's more...

In addition to causing plumbing problems, flushed tampons can also harm the environment. Tampons are not biodegradable, which means that they do not break down easily in the environment. This can lead to the buildup of tampons in waterways and landfills, where they can have a negative impact on wildlife and ecosystems.

So, what should you do with a used tampon instead of flushing it down the toilet? The best option is to bin it. If you are at home, simply wrap it in toilet paper and pop it in the bin. Otherwise, if you are out and about, most public toilets provide special disposal bins for menstrual products like tampons and pads.


Feel like making the switch?

If you are concerned about the environmental impact of using disposable menstrual products like tampons, it could be time to consider switching to period pants. Of course, we are totally biased, but it wasn't always that way. We all converted from using disposables. They are such a simple way to manage periods and will actually save you money in the long run - as well as have a positive impact on the environment.

If you're new to period pants, don't feel pressured to invest in multiple pairs in one go. Why not try a light to moderate flow pair and use them at the end of your cycle? Our Seamless Gym Buddy is a perfect starter pair; they are super slim and feel just like normal knickers. They can hold up to two tampons, and because they are seamless, they can't be seen under your clothes.


Have a look at our other POP TALK blogs.

💋  What is single use period plastic?

💋  How International Women's Day all began

💋  To flush or not to flush?

💋  Why does my poop change when I have my period?  

💋  What does Period "Equity" mean?

💋  What is Period Poverty?

💋 What is Menstrual Hygiene Day all about?


Together, we can work towards a more sustainable and eco-friendly future for all.