How To Recycle Your Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups are perfect for women wanting to have a zero waste period and are considered eco-friendly because they help people minimise the use of disposable tampons and pads. An average user uses tens of thousands of tampons for the whole duration of their menstrual cycle. Some estimates put it at 16,000. Reducing our plastic waste is something that we should start doing before itís too late.
We know what happens to plastic waste. They are piling up in our landfills and floating in the oceans, putting marine life in serious danger. Whatís worse is that it takes thousands if not hundreds of years before plastics break down. And if they do break down, they become microplastics.
Fortunately, menstrual cups are quite the opposite of these disposables. Most of the sanitary cups available on the market are made from high-grade silicone which is recyclable. This means that at the end of your cupís life, which is more likely 6 months to several years from now, it can be made into something new or can be broken down back to its original components. But how exactly do you dispose of a menstrual cup after years of loving it?
At the end of your menstrual cup life, your first option should be recycling. Some recycling plants do not cater to disposal of medical-grade silicone so itís recommended to check with the recycling centers in your area. Hospitals normally dispose medical-grade devices so you may want to check with them if you can piggyback on their waste management.
Most cities have waste incinerators so check with your local waste management services if they burn their waste. Unlike plastic which is harmful to both human health and the environment when burned, silicone will be converted back to harmless materials like silica sand, carbon dioxide and water vapour. When a single silicone menstrual cup is burned, only a very tiny amount of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. All that is left are ashes that can be safely composted.
There are many ways you can repurpose your menstrual cup. Using it cup in your garden either for decorative or practical purposes is one option that something you should consider doing. You can chop up your menstrual cup and put the pieces around the bases of your priced plants along with a few glass, pebbles, wood and other materials you use in your garden. No need to worry about any nasty chemicals leaching into the soil because silicone is eco-friendly.
Another option is to use it for watering plants. Some plants require controlled amounts of water so you the handy measurement lines on the side of your cup makes it useful as a miniature plant watering tool.
One menstrual cup user came up with a clever and creative way to repurpose her retired menstrual cup. She cut the bottom of her menstrual cup and covered with a firmly attached piece of cloth to create a self-watering spinach planter. She then planted spinach in the menstrual cup and placed the cup inside a tinted glass of similar size. Water is added into the jar so that the spinach plant can absorb water as it pleases.
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