Here at The Students’ Union at UWE, we are passionate about tackling the climate crisis and share with our students’ tips on how to make sustainable swaps in your day-to-day life.
Disposable menstrual products can be very damaging to the environment, with one pad containing up to 90% plastic. Even tampons contain plastic, not just in the wrapper but also in the tampon itself. This is harming our oceans with 4.8 pieces of menstrual waste being found on average per 100m of beach in the UK (read this blog by Friends of the Earth for more information).
However, there are some planet and purse-friendly options out there. While our choice of period product is a very personal one, and we all have different preferences and needs, it is important to be able to make an informed decision about what’s best for you. We’ve put together this guide to help give you some more information about sustainable period products.
What is the The Students' Union doing?
Did you know The Students' Union provides free organic disposable menstrual products in all our toilets?
If you need advice or support accessing period products, you can contact the SU Advice Centre or UWE's Student Money Service and they will be able to help.
We are working with UWE Bristol to supply more toilets across the campus sites where plastic free single-use period products will be available if you are caught short.
Period Product Stalls
During term-time we run weekly stalls campus site for you to collect natracare (plastic free) single use products.
The next stalls will be:
You can find out when the next period stall is on our 'Whats On' pages!
If you're caught short on campus or need support in the interim between stalls simply pop into any student Union site and ask for a grab bag to keep you topped up or please email SUCommunity@uwe.ac.uk.
If you need further support please contact the Money Advice and Funds Service via the Information Point or call +44(0)1173285678 for long term suport and options
If you want to make the move to more sustainable periods, you may want to think about joining our free sustainable product trial, check out the testimonials below!
For the last few academic years, The Students’ Union has worked hard to make sustainable period products more accessible to students by running a free sustainable period product trial. This trial gives the opportunity to all UWE Bristol students to receive a free reusable period product of their choice. This year students can get free period pants, menstrual cups, reusable pads or a menstrual cup sterilisng pot. The aim of this project is to spread awareness of reusable and more sustainable period products, give students a risk-free opportunity to trial products and remove the barrier of cost.
We have restarted the trial for 2023/24! Sign up via this link https://forms.office.com/e/PUtwqu6RNR
For information on how the trial went in 2022-2023, please read our news article here.
Student feedback from previous trials:
"A brilliant way for students to access these sustainable products - I would not have been able to try them before due to having a student income"
"Sustainable period products have been game-changing for me. I am so happy to not contribute to more waste in this industry. Thanks for the opportunity!"
Two members of the sustainability committee have reviewed their experience of trying reusable underwear and menstrual cup, in this blog.
Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash