Did you know there are over ten million tampons users in UK using an average of twenty tampons per cycle, of which approximately 60% are being flushed (without a second thought) down the toilet? This means that 144 million tampons end up in our sewers, rivers and oceans each year, causing not only unnecessary blockages but a negative impact on our marine environment. Water companies across England and Wales spent approximately £70 million clearing more than 300,000 blockages in 2013 – and the problem is only going to get bigger. If, like me, you always assumed that disposing of your used sanitary products down the loo wasn’t a big deal, then it’s time to wise up. I’ve genuinely always believed that the UK’s plumbing and sewage systems were more than capable of dealing with a few tampons, but it’s shocking to find out that’s simply not the case. Tampons are one of the biggest causes of blockages and efficiency difficulties, while the approximately 11,000 its estimated we’ll use over our lifetime will either end up in landfill or the sea. That’s not ok. So what can we do to ensure our tampons are disposed of correctly? Fab Little Bag is a new concept that aims to make the disposal process easy, efficient, hygienic and pleasant – as well as an affordable alternative to the habits we’ve formed over the course of a lifetime.
Fab Little Bag is a discreet little pouch that allows you to drop in your used tampon and seal securely, using only one hand. The patented clever finger loops make the process easy as pie and totally clean, meaning you don’t need to be a contortionist to execute the process perfectly. Made 35% from organic material, the pouches are oxo-biodegradable (it doesn’t require a biological process to degrade) and keep tampons out of the rivers, seas and sewers. There’s no need to worry if there’s a bin, enough toilet paper to wrap it in or a way of disposing descretely – Fab Little Bag puts you back in control of disposal, every time, anywhere. It’s such a simple concept, but one that could make a real difference.
Lauren Davis, Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch Officer, says: “Increasingly
people seem to be putting things down their loos that belong in the
bin. Cotton buds, condoms, tampons, tampon applicators and sanitary
towels are being flushed away with an ‘out of sight, out of mind’
perception and unfortunately more and more are ending up in our rivers
and then on our beaches.” I’ve never really thought about it before, but now I have I’ll be thinking twice about dropping my sanitary products down the loo along with a few squares of Andrex. What I love about Fab Little Bag is how discrete and subtle the design is – nobody would ever know what they were for if they fell out of your bag in the middle of the office. The design is simple but strong, ensuring that even if you need to take your used items home then your bag is 100% protected from any contamination.
I definitely think we’re exceptionally bad at chucking things down the toilet in this country; in the majority of Europe and America they simply don’t dispose of used sanitary products in this way, because their plumbing systems can’t cope with it. Having blocked the loo while on holiday in Florida because of my UK ignorance, it made me change my habits and think twice about how I disposed of my bits and bobs. If only I kept that up when I landed back in the UK… There’s a huge education piece still to be done around correct disposal of items we often don’t even consciously concern ourselves with, but this innovation is a simple and affordable way to make a difference. Although I need to re-train my brain after twenty years of behaving in a certain way, if it can stop the suffering of our marine environment and reduce my water bills, why the hell wouldn’t I try?
Are you guilty of chucking your tampons down the loo? Has this made you think twice?
What do you think of the ‘Fab Little Bag’ concept?
Fab Little Bags are available in packs of 20 (£2.99) or a handbag-appropriate pack of 5 (£1.99), that includes a re-usable box, from fablittlebag.com
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