Zero Waste Periods: 21 Eco-friendly Menstrual Products

zero waste periods

The links below may be affiliate links. If you shop through them, I’ll earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

In this post, I will share with you some of the best zero waste period products you can use for a more eco-friendly monthly menstrual cycle. Continue reading to find out how you can use less plastic and minimize your waste during your period.

I was 13 when I first got my period. I remember it to be a confusing and embarrassing time as talking about it was taboo. I wasn’t even sure that it was happening, so I went to my step-mom and told her. My mom being my mom,  started tearing up as she handed me a pack of disposable sanitary napkins. 

At the time, I thought she was crying because I have “become a woman”. But in hindsight, I think it was sympathetic tears for what is to come. While getting your period can be a blessing, for the most part, it can be a curse. 

Every month, I have to endure mood swings, irritability, cramps, breast tenderness, headaches, breakouts and other PMS symptoms. Getting my period also meant having to deal with menstrual products like panty liners, sanitary napkins, tampons, and the like.

While I can’t do much about PMSing, I decided to do something about my menstrual product of choice. After 2 decades of using sanitary pads and tampons, I realized how much trash I was producing and how much money I was paying for these single-use products. 

Doing the math, I estimate that I’ve used about 5000 sanitary pads and tampons since the first time I’ve bled. If I continued with my menstrual habits, I’d have sent more plastic and waste to the landfills. I didn’t want that in my bloody conscience. 

As someone who’s trying to use less plastic, I decided to make the switch so I can have a waste free period. I looked at various zero waste feminine products that were good not just for my health but also for our planet. I ended up with a silicone menstrual cup which I think was the best option for me.

Compared to when I was growing up, nowadays, there are so many more options for zero waste period products. Had I known earlier of these easy zero waste swaps, I would have made the switch early on.

If you would like to have zero-waste periods, here are some of the eco-friendly period products you can use.

Zero Waste Menstrual Cups

What is a menstrual cup?

A menstrual cup, also known as a period cup, is a kind of reusable feminine hygiene product that is inserted in your vagina. Unlike tampons or pads that absorb your menstrual blood, menstrual cups catch and collect the fluids.

The cup-shaped silicone or rubber can contain more blood compared to other feminine products which means you can replace them less frequently. And because they are also made from medical-grade material, they can also be worn for longer periods of time without harming your body. These are some of the reasons why menstrual cups are one of the more popular choices for waste free periods.

Buying a menstrual cup will initially cost more than buying a one-month supply of disposable sanitary products. However, you can easily recuperate this expense as you will never have to buy tampons or pads ever again.

Menstrual cups can be used for many years to come making them one of the best zero-waste period products you can use. By replacing your sanitary pads or tampons with period cups, you will significantly reduce your plastic waste each month.

Zero waste period cups have been a game-changer for the feminine product industry. It has made menstruating a more comfortable experience for many women and it has saved millions of single-use period products from going to landfills and our oceans.

To better understand how a zero waste menstrual cup works, check out this video:

What are the benefits of using a menstrual cup?

  • Made from 100% medical-grade silicone or rubber
  • Can be worn up to 12 hours depending on how heavy your flow is
  • Lower risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare bacterial infection associated with tampon use
  • You can wear it the whole day and the whole night
  • One cup is equivalent to 3 tampons
  • When placed correctly, you shouldn’t feel the menstrual cup.
  • Go swimming, do sports and other activities without disruptions
  • Prevents leaks and period stains
  • Cost effective – buy once and can be used for many years
  • Completely replaces tampons and menstrual pads
  • Perfect addition to your zero-waste travel kit as they do not take up too much space

What are the problems associated with menstrual cup use?

  • High initial investment compared to disposables
  • Discomfort and difficulty during insertion or removal
  • You may get period blood on your hands during removal
  • Allergic reaction to the silicone or rubber
  • Replacing or cleaning while you are on the go might be challenging
  • Vaginal irritation if the period cup is not cleaned and cared for properly
  • Menstrual cups becomes discoloured or stained. This is normal but might put off some people.
  • At the end of its life, silicone period cups if not recycled properly will still end up in landfills

How do you clean a menstrual cup before use?

Submerge the cup in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Making sure that the silicon cup does not touch the bottom and the sides of the pot. After boiling, allow the cup to cool at room temperature. Wash your hands and menstrual cup thoroughly with warm water and mild antibacterial soap.

Please check with your preferred brand on what is the best way to clean your zero waste period cups.

1. OrganiCup Menstrual Cup

OrganiCup Menstrual Cup - Size A/Small - Reusable Period Cup

Additional reasons to love this zero waste period cup:

  • Available in 3 sizes: Mini, Regular and Large
  • Alergy certified, Vegan certified, FDA Approved
  • Packaging is made from recyclable carton with instruction printed directly on the packaging to prevent additional waste.
  • Includes unbleached organic cotton storage bag
  • Minimal packaging to reduce emissions from transportation
  • Used by millions of women

2. Hevea Loop Cup

Hevea Loop Cup, Natural Rubber Menstrual Cup for Zero Waste Periods

Additional reasons to love this period cup:

  • Made from 100% Natural Rubber that is biodegradable, non-toxic, and plastic-free
  • Loop-style stem for ease of removal
  • Available in 3 sizes
  • Compostable at the end of its life
  • Product packaging is made from FSC Certified paper and is entirely biodegradable
  • Ships plastic-free from EarthHero

3. Girls That Scuba Menstrual Cup

Girls That Scuba Menstrual Cup for Ocean Adventurers

Additional reasons to love this menstrual cup:

  • Perfect for the ocean adventurer
  • Available in regular and large size
  • 10% of profits donated to Bloody Good Period

For more details about diving while you’re on your period, read my post on scuba diving and menstruation.


Reusable menstrual discs

What is a menstrual disc?

A reusable menstrual disc is a waste free period product that works similarly to a menstrual cup. Unlike the period cup that stays in the vaginal canal, the menstrual disc needs to be pushed further in so it sits at the base of the cervix as it collects blood.

Menstrual discs were initially designed to be a disposable option. Brands like Flex and Softcup, introduced menstrual discs made of a flexible ring and plastic blood-trap in the middle. Disposable menstrual disc stopped women from using at least 3 tampons however it still contained single-use plastic and also produced a lot of waste.

Recently, the period discs were redesigned so that they can also be reusable. Several other brands came up with reusable period discs for more eco-friendly menstruations. The reengineered menstrual discs are made of 100% medical-grade silicone that can be used over and over again.

One of the biggest selling points of reusable period discs is that they can be worn while having sexual intercourse. So if you want to have a waste free period and mess-free period sex, the menstrual disc might be the zero waste feminine product for you.

It is important to note though that while the reusable period discs look similar to a female diaphragm, they are not birth control options. Menstrual discs will not protect you against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.

What are the benefits of using a reusable menstrual disc?

  • 100% medical grade silicone
  • Can be worn while having penetrative sex
  • Can be worn up to 12 hours depending on how heavy the flow
  • Comfortable to wear
  • Prevents leaks and period stains
  • Can be worn while swimming and doing water sports
  • Money saving as it can be reused for many years
  • Sustainable alternative to tampons and sanitary napkins
  • Lower risk of getting toxic shock syndrome (TSS), a rare bacterial infection associated with tampon use.

What are the problems associated with reusable menstrual disc use?

  • Has a bit of learning curve to use
  • Can be difficult to insert or remove especially when using for the first time
  • Can be messier to remove compared to a menstrual cup
  • Replacing or cleaning while you are on the go might be challenging
  • Allergic reaction to silicone or vaginal irritation if not properly cleaned
  • Period discs becomes discoloured or stained after multiple use.
  • At the end of its life, silicone period cups if not recycled properly will still end up in landfills

How do you clean a reusable menstrual disc?

Submerge the period disc in a pot of boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Make sure that the silicon disc does not touch the bottom and the sides of the pot. After sanitizing in boiling water, allow the menstrual disc to cool at room temperature. Wash your hands and disc thoroughly with warm water and mild antibacterial soap before inserting the disc into your vagina.

Please check with your preferred brand on what is the best way to clean your reusable period disc.

4. Cora Reusable Period Disc

Cora Disc | Reusable Period Disc

Additional reasons to love this reusable period disc:

  • One size fits most bodies so no need to guess
  • Has a finger-width groove for easy insertion and removal
  • High capacity that is equivalent to 5-7 regular tampons
  • Flat fit design for worry-free leak protection for restful sleep, sex, and exercise

5. Moonthlies Menstrual Disc

MOONTHLIES Menstrual Disc - Reusable Period Disc - Starter Set of 2 Sizes

Additional reasons to love this reusable menstrual disc:

  • Available in 2 sizes
  • Each pack includes 2 reusable menstrual discs, 2 pouches, and instruction booklet
  • Has a tab to make it easy to pull and remove

6. Intimina Ziggy Cup

Intimina Ziggy Cup – Extra-Thin Reusable Menstrual Cup with Flat-fit Design

Additional reasons to love this menstrual disc:

  • Revolutionary flat-fit design so you can’t feel teh cup no matter what you’re doing
  • High-capacity cup with a flexible, petal-thin body and leak-proof double rim
  • Includes a case so you can bring it whenever you need it most

Zero waste period panties

What are zero waste period panties?

Period panties are feminine products that are worn like regular underwear when you are menstruating. The crotch of period panties is designed with extra layers of highly absorbent fabrics to absorb menstrual blood.

Period underwears also have different levels of absorbency depending on the varying flow within your menstrual cycle. They also come in various styles and cuts to fit any female form. You can find menstrual panties in cuts like bikini, mid-rise, boyshorts, and more.

Menstrual underwear replaces the use of disposable liners, pads, and tampons. For extra protection against leaks, you can also wear period panties together with your tampons, menstrual cups, or menstrual discs. They are also reusable making them one of the best options for zero waste menstruation.

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly period product that’s non-intrusive to your body period panties might be the solution for you.

What are the benefits of using a zero-waste period panties?

  • Completely replace single-use menstrual products
  • Built-in highly absorbent material
  • No risks of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)as blood is absorbed externally
  • Reusable and machine-washable
  • Wear up to 12 hours depending on your flow
  • Can last up to 2 years when cared for properly.

What are the problems associated with period panties use?

  • Can leak and stains if you choose the wrong absorbency
  • Period smell or odors
  • Feeling of wetness and flow as the blood exits your vagina
  • Can contain extra layers of microfiber polyester that can shed and enter the eco-system as micro-plastics
  • Disposal at the end of its life might be an issue and will also end up in landfills
  • You will need several pairs for each menstrual cycle

7. Thinx Period Underwear

Thinx Hiphugger Menstrual Underwear| Period Underwear for Women| Period Panties

Additional reasons to love these period underwear:

  • Made from soft breathable fabric
  • Neutralizes all unwanted smells
  • Machine-wash cold and hang dry
  • Available in various cuts, colors and sizes

7. Bambody Period Panties

Bambody Absorbent Panty: Period Panties/Maternity & Postpartum Underwear

Additional reasons to love these period panties:

  • Available in various designs and sizes (XX-Small up to 6X-Large)
  • Holds 30 ml of fluid (equivalent to 2 tampons)
  • Leak-proof protection from front to back to avoid stained clothing or sheets
  • Comfy design that is gentle around the waist

9. 4period High Heavy Flow Period Panties

4period High Absorbency for Heavy Flow Period Panties; Leakproof, for Teens and Women

Additional reasons to love these menstrual underwear:

  • Front to back absorbent, moisture wicking leak protection for menstruation, postpartum, & urinary incontinence
  • Available in Extra Small to 3X-Large sizes
  • Machine wash cold and line dry
  • Uses non-synthetic fabric derived from bamboo that’s silky smooth

Zero Waste Panty Liners

What are zero waste panty liners?

Zero waste panty liners are sustainable menstrual products used for lighter periods or everyday use. They are alternative to single-use panty liners that are made with plastics, adhesives, artificial fragrances, chemicals, and keeps disposable liners out of landfills and our oceans.

What are the benefits of using a zero waste panty liners?

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Free of pesticides, chemicals and plastics
  • Back-up for a menstrual cups, discs, or tampons
  • Some are designed to be reused

What are the problems associated with zero waste panty liners?

  • Organic and plastic-free panty liners are prone to shred and tear easily
  • Some are still disposable or needs to be composted
  • little to no adhesion can cause zero waste panty liners to shift and move while being worn

10. Natracare Panty Liners

Natracare Panty Liners Curved 30 Count (2 Pack)

Additional reasons to love these plastic free panty liners:

  • Certified organic cotton cover
  • Plastic-free, chlorine-free, and made without latex, rayon, fragrances, chemical additives, or dyes
  • Compostable panty liner and wrapper

11. Bamboo Panty Liners with Discreet Pouch

Bamboo Panty Liners with Discreet Pouch

Additional reasons to love these reusable panty liners:

  • Washable panty liners are made from three different fabrics to guarantee worry-free periods
  • Made with bamboo charcoal fleece for softness and odor control, microfiber for high-absorption and PUL for maximum protection
  • Designed and tested by women
  • Include an in-depth digital user manual with tips on how to use and care for them
  • Come in a discreet pouch, which consists of two compartments so you can easily separate used and unused pads

12. Eco by Naty Panty Liners

Eco by Naty Panty Liners for Plastic free periods

Additional reasons to love these organic panty liners:

  • Made from 95% biodegradable plant-based materials and wrapped in a GMO-free corn-based bioplastic
  • Soft and comfortable top sheet and a super-absorbent middle layer
  • Compost or recycle cardboard box, recycle outer wrappers as soft plastic, dispose of liner in trash

Eco-friendly Period Pads

What are zero waste period pads?

Zero waste period pads are menstrual products used during your heavier period flow. They are an alternative to sanitary napkins that are made with plastics, adhesives, artificial fragrances, and chemicals.

Normally you will use around 15-25 disposable sanitary pads or tampons each month. By using eco-friendly menstrual pads, you will prevent disposable feminine products from entering landfills and our oceans.

What are the benefits of zero waste period pads?

  • Comfortable to wear than plastic pads that can lead to chafing
  • Made from breatheable materials since they don’t have a plastic lining.
  • Free of pesticides and chemicals
  • Some zero waste period pads can be reused after washing
  • Also comes in various absorbency, sizes, and shapes
  • Reusable period pads can last for many years and can save you money

What are the problems associated with zero waste period pads?

  • Organic and plastic-free panty liners are prone to shred and tear easily
  • Some are still disposable or needs to be composted
  • Can shift and move while being worn
  • Feeling of wetness and flow as the blood exits your vagina
  • Pads still needs to be changed frequently depending on your flow
  • You will still need to buy several pieces for your entire cycle
  • Reusable pads can be inconvenient to clean

13. Pixie Cotton Cloth Pads

Pixie Cotton Cloth Pads - 100% Organic Reusable Cotton - Ranked 1 for Softest Menstrual Pads - Machine Washable & Includes Free Wet Bag - Menstrual Liner Pads - Sanitary Napkins (Set of 5 Mediums)

Additional reasons to love these reusable cloth pads:

  • Made with certified organic cotton without the use of toxins, chlorine, pesticides, and fragrance
  • Double snap closure to ensure a secure fit to the underwear
  • Include in your regular laundry routine so you can reuse for your next monthly cycle
  • made with 4 layers of moisture-wicking cotton to minimize unpleasant odors and irritation

14. Natissy Reusable Menstrual Pads

Reusable Pads Menstrual; 6-Pack (L+XL) Organic Cotton Cloth Pads MADE IN EU; Absorbent Reusable Period Pads; Reusable Pads for Women; Long Washable Pads Menstrual for Heavy Flow, Overnight, Postpartum

Additional reasons to love these reusable menstrual pads:

  • Fabric used to make the reusable sanitary towels is certified organic cotton.
  • Has a waterproof layer that will protect you from any leaks and spills
  • Reusable cloth menstrual pads can also be used as postnatal maternity pads or washable cloth urinary pads for women
  • Can be washed at 95° C (203° F)
  • With proper care can last at least 5 years

15. Natracare Ultra Pads with Wings

Natracare Natural Ultra Pads with Wings, Regular, 14 Count

Additional reasons to love these organic menstrual pads:

  • Certified organic cotton cover
  • Plastic-free, containing no added perfumes, dyes, chlorine, or additives
  • Compostable pad and wrapper

Plastic-free Organic Tampons

What are plastic-free organic tampons?

Tampons usually come with plastic wrappers, plastic applicators, plastic strings, and even a thin layer of plastic in the absorbent part. These single-use menstrual products are very wasteful and bad for the environment.

With the clamor for sustainable and plastic-free feminine products, manufacturers were forced to create eco-friendly tampons. Made with organic materials and eco-friendly packaging, you can now buy plastic-free tampons.

This feminine product alternative is for those who still prefer to use tampons but want to also help the planet. While they are still single-use products, they are still environmentally friendly compared to your traditional tampons because they have fewer chemicals and less plastic.

What are the benefits of using organic tampons?

  • Less-plastic
  • Uses organic cotton that is softer and kinder on your body than the synthetic, plastic filled tampons that mainstream brands use
  • No chemicals, chlorine bleach, or snthentic materials
  • Biodegradable and can decompose

What are the problems associated with organic tampons?

  • Single-use product so it still uses a lot of resource to make and generates waste
  • Plastic-free applicators can be problematic to use
  • Tampons should be changed every 4 to 8 hours

16. Rael Organic Cardboard Applicator Tampons

Rael Organic Cardboard Applicator Tampons - Regular Absorbency with New Easy Grip Applicator, Unscented, Biodegradable, Chlorine Free, for Sensitive Skin (36 Count, Regular)

Additional reasons to love these organic tampons:

  • Made with certified organic cotton from tip to string
  • Free from chlorine, fragrance, pesticides or synthetic chemicals
  • Absorbent cotton core expands width-wise to perfectly fit your shape for maximum protection
  • Protects for up to 8 hours at a time.
  • Rounded tip cardboard applicator with contoured anti-slip grip for comfortable and easy insertion.
  • Tightly sewn cotton cord for worry-free removal
  • Individually wrapped in sustainable paper wrapper

17. NATRACARE Organic Regular Tampons with Applicator

NATRACARE Organic Regular Tampons with Applicator ,16 Count (Pack of 3)

Additional reasons to love these organic tampons:

  • Plastic-free, chlorine-free, and made without latex, rayon, fragrances, chemical additives, or dyes
  • Cardboard applicator
  • Tampons come wrapped individually in paper
  • Compostable tampon & applicator

18. TOP Organic Cotton Tampons with Plant Based Applicator

TOP the Organic Project: 100% Organic Pure Cotton Tampons Plant Based Applicator

Additional reasons to love these eco-friendly tampons:

  • Made with 100% biodegradable organic cotton that are free of toxins, chemicals, synthetics, fragrances and dyes
  • Expands to fit your body for total comfort and leak-protection, so you can move freely all day long.
  • Available for both light and heavy periods
  • Made with a smooth, curved tip for a comfortable, easy insertion.
  • Plant-based compact “Planticator” Applicator feels and looks like plastic but made out of sugarcane
  • With every TOP purchase, period products are donated to women and girls in need

Zero Waste Feminine Wash

Gynecologists recommend that water is still the best thing to use to clean your vagina. Soaps and cleansers are not recommended because they can disrupt the vagina’s natural ph balance. (Read this post to learn how to clean your vagina.)

However, many women still insists on using feminine hygiene washes to clean their vulva. Oftentimes these feminine soap comes in plastic bottles.

So for those searching for plastic-free feminine wash alternatives, there are yoni or vagina bar soaps that have been formulated to clean your delicate areas.

Here are some zero waste feminine washes you can use instead.

19. Skin Food Fix feminine wash soap

Skin Food Fix feminine wash soap

Additional reasons to love this feminine wash soap:

  • Leave your lady parts smelling fresh and sweet like a cookies
  • Smooth round edge shape for your delicate area
  • Keeps your pH normal thus a fresh and clean vagina all day long

20. Fidelis Yoni Soap Bar

Fidelis Yoni Soap Bar (Peach) pH Balanced, V Cleansing Bar for Women 3.5oz/100g

Additional reasons to love this yoni soap bar:

  • Handmade using natural ingredients to nourish and clean your delicate areas
  • Smells well and available in various scents
  • Designed with your pH balance in mind to prevent irritation and the growth of bad bacteria

21. Femme Detox Vibe Yoni Bar Soap for Women

Femme Detox Vibe Yoni Bar Soap for Women, pH Balance For Women Exfoliating Soap, All Natural Soap Bar with Essential Oils for Cleansing & Odor - 100g 4pack All Scent

Additional reasons to love this plastic-free feminine wash:

  • Made from natural ingredients to help freshen the female intimate area
  • Uses essential oils for moisturizing and soothing scents
  • Stops dryness, itching, odor, soreness, or any discomfort

While I highly recommend using menstrual cups, each woman’s body and needs differ. I hope that this list of zero waste menstrual products has helped you decide on what the best eco-friendly feminine product is for you!

Please note that this post is for general information purposes and does not serve as medical advice. Please consult with your doctor if you have health or medical concerns.

You may also check out these sustainable online stores that sell zero waste period products:

USA: EarthHero | EcoRoots | Life without Plastic | Zero Waste Store | Well Earth Goods

Canada: Earth Market Store

UK: Battle Green Box | The Kind Store

Australia: Zero Store | Biome

Philippines: Eco Shop Ph | The Project Eco

For more recommendations, you may also search my List of Zero Waste Stores Online to find the best eco-friendly shop nearest you.

Pin this for later!

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Zero waste and eco-friendly guides you might want to read:
60+ Best Online Zero Waste Stores and Eco-friendly Shops
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101 Ways to Say No To Plastic
Best Zero Waste Subscription Boxes
Best Zero Waste Reef Safe Sunscreen
Best Zero Waste Shampoo and Conditioners
Best Eco-friendly Hair Brushes and Combs
Best Zero Waste Period Products
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What do you do to achieve zero waste periods? Do you use any of these eco-friendly menstrual products? Leave a comment below!

The links above may be affiliate links. If you shop through them, I’ll earn a commission at no additional cost to you. For full information, please see my disclaimer here.

Ara Juan

Ara is the founder of DiverBliss.com and PhilippineDives.com. She is a PADI Rescue Diver with a goal to dive in all the best places around the Philippines.

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