Responding to the news that Sainsbury’s has stopped producing and selling own-brand plastic tampon applicators, City to Sea’s Plastic Free Periods Campaigns Coordinator, Jasmine Tribe said,
“Sainsbury’s has taken a huge step in offering customers a real choice. People should be able to buy plastic free period products easily and affordably. It is up to retailers to offer this basic choice. Sainsbury’s has shown how easy it is to remove one of the most significant pieces of plastic from its period products. It’s time now for other retailers to go with the flow and scrap plastic applicators from their own-brand period products. With cardboard or reusable applicator alternatives on the market there is no excuse to keep offering the environmentally disastrous plastic applicators.
She continued, “The applicator however is only one part of the plastic found in period products. Most tampons and pads have plastic woven into the actual products. What we need is for manufacturers and retailers to come clean about how much plastic is in their products and then do all they can to remove this unnecessary plastics. On this front, all major supermarkets, including Sainsburys, have a lot of work to do.”
In 2010 a UK beach clean picked up an average of 23 menstrual pads and 9 tampon applicators per kilometre of British coastline. Each pack of ‘conventional’ pads contains the equivalent of 5 plastic carrier bags. Every day, 2.5 million tampons, 1.4 million pads and 700,000 pantyliners are wrongly flushed down UK toilets contributing to the problem of plastic pollution in the marine environment.