As the world wakes-up to the impact of plastic pollution caused by single-use bottles and packaging, there is another, potentially bigger issue lurking around our coasts. One that old fashioned taboos often prevent us from talking about - period product pollution. 

Nearly half of the worlds population live by the coast, spending time on, in and by the water. We use the water for fun, to make a living, to set physical and mental challenges, to soak up the wellbeing benefits, and so much more. This is a place we know, respect and love.

Menstrual products are the fifth most common item found on Europe’s beaches, more widespread than single-use coffee cups, cutlery or straws.

86% of the British public are worried about the impact of plastic pollution on this place that we love. As a result, we’re championing water women to help us spread one simple way that people can reduce single-use plastic in their lives.

As part of our Plastic Free Periods campaign we’ve created this short film, ‘Turning Tides’ to raise awareness of plastic pollution in our oceans and empower women to have a choice when it comes to what they are putting in their bodies.

Help us turn the tide on plastic pollution!

We partnered with film director duo Lucy Hawes and Jo Guthrie to create ‘Turning Tides’ – a short film which highlights our deep and vital connection with the ocean through punchy visuals of global coastlines and female surfers, and a soundscape composed entirely of recordings made from plastic pollution. Watch the 2 minute film below.

Next time it’s your time of the month, try using plastic-free products instead (check out exclusive discounts for plastic-free disposable and reusable products here). Learn more about the range of plastic-free products now available, and which might be most suitable for your body and lifestyle here.


Our ambassadors

Cal Major who this year broke a world record by stand-up-paddle-boarding from Lands End to John O’Groats to raise awareness about nature connection, plastic pollution and protecting our mental health.

Whether we feel connected to the oceans or not, they produce over half the oxygen we breathe on Earth. They are precious to so many of us surfers, stand up paddleboarders and swimmers for our wellbeing, but they are essential to all of us for sustaining our life on this planet. We can’t afford to let plastic pollution destroy them, and switching to reusable period products is one of the simplest ways we women can minimise our plastic footprint.

Sophie Hellyer who became a national surf champion at the age of 15 and co-founded the #RiseFierce movement of cold-water swimmers.

I’ve had used period products land on my board and float past while I’m surfing, not cool! To protect what I value – the ocean and my body – I chose plastic-free periods. I hope that this film highlights the connection between what we love – the ocean – and the products we chose in our every day lives.

Andrea Marshall, founder of Marine Megafauna Foundation.

These days we are being inundated with terrifying news about the environment and the state of our great oceans. If you feel helpless, you are not alone. But it is important to remember that we can all do our part in turning the tide. Once I started using reusable menstrual cups I never looked back! They protect me better than tampons or pads, they are great for someone who spends most of their day in the water and save me loads of money! Being a better steward of the environment starts with a series of small changes and this is certainly one that we ladies can get behind!

Tanya Streeter world champion freediver

The ocean has provided me with a lifetime of fun and opportunity, and I hope my children and future generations will have the chance to experience the same. One of the unique things us women can do to protect our blue planet from plastic pollution is to make environmentally sensitive choices when it comes to our menstruation products. Help turn the tide on #PlasticPollution by choosing #PlasticFreePeriods!

Nique Miller, Professional surfer (SUP, and Longboard). Currently ranked 7th in the world in SUP.

I’m supporting City to Sea’s #PlasticFreePeriods campaign because it’s important to spread the word about the damaging effects of single use plastic on the environment. I’m from Hawaii and on this small island I can see first-hand the damaging effect that plastic is having on the beaches, ocean, mountains and jungle. It is literally killing and destroying the reef and animals in our precious and unique ecosystem. I want to be apart of this campaign to help shine a light on this issue and share solutions on how to help.

Laura Crane team GB surf ambassador

The ocean and my body have been there for me since I can remember and now it’s time for me to be there for them!

That’s why I have chosen to back this campaign and say NO to single use sanitary products FOREVER!

Alice Dearing team GB swimmer

As an open water swimmer the sea is a huge part of my life and I love the beauty of it. The fact that so much plastic is infesting our seas and ruining the ecosystems which exist within it is frightening and change needs to happen. I’m excited to be working with city to sea to raise awareness around plastic in the ocean!

Chrissana Wilmot – Trinidadian Surfer

I support this initiative because our cycles, like the natural environment, shouldn't fall victim to plastic products.

Contributors and supporters


Deakin and Blue

Ruby Moon


Women and Waves


Organisation: City to Sea @citytosea_
Directors: Lucy Hawes & Jo Guthrie @1ucy_h_ & @jog
Producer: Lucy Hawes @1ucy_h_


Greg Dennis @gregwdennis
Rod Caetano @rodrcaetano
Courtney Spence
Forrest Ladkin @forrestandsea
Nick Oahu @Nick.oahu
James Appleton @jamesappletonphotography
Janneman Conradie @janneman.conradie
Stephanie Teixeira
Stacey Powers @tincanadventure
Rauri Cantelo @rauricantelo
James Partridge @thisispartridge

Post production
The Mill @millchannel

Post producer
Nicole Duncan @nicoleduncan88

Graphic Design
Jo Guthrie @jog

Alex Gregory @alexgregorycolour

Bethan Williams @bethancwilliams
Raj Davsi @rajdavsi

Sophie Hellyer @sophiehellyer
Nique Miller @nique_miller
Ruby Day @ruby_day

Cal Major @cal_major

Andrea Marshall @queenofmantas

Whitehouse Post

Liz Deegan @lizdeegsedit

Post producer
Annabel Bennett

Socials editing
Jo Guthrie @jog

Harry Linden Johnson @harrylindenjohnson

With special thanks to:

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