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Switching to cardboard applicator tampons for a plastic-free period

TOTM organic cotton cardboard applicator tampons on an orange background

Plastics are a problem, and period care is largely contributing to this global issue!

Here, we’re talking about switching from plastic/bio-plastic applicators to cardboard applicators – A simple switch with a big impact. Plus, scroll to discover our £2 switch kits!

When it comes to plastic pollution and waste, there’s a lot to be said. Period products, in general, get called into question (WEN revealed that around 90% of non-organic pads are plastic!) But in this article, we’re focusing on a prime offender – the plastic tampon applicator.

It has been revealed that every year, 1.3 billion plastic tampon applicators go into landfill in the UK (that’s 25 million each week!). These applicators also end up on beaches and in the oceans. (Side note: it’s important to NEVER flush any period care product. More info on that here).

Looking for alternatives

The good news is plastic-free periods are possible. There are alternatives available if you want to ditch the plastic applicator. Non-applicator tampons are an obvious choice, but if you do prefer an applicator for insertion, consider switching to cardboard.

Cardboard applicators are firstly biodegradable. So, if they do end up in the landfill they will break down naturally. They can also be composted if you have the facilities.

Making the switch to a cardboard applicator

Now if you’re new to cardboard applicators, it’s useful to be aware that they do not glide like a plastic applicator.  Cardboard naturally has a more rigid feel to plastic, so you need to be prepared for this difference. But this is a minor adjustment. Cardboard applicators have been designed for purpose so it’s easy to adapt to using them.

It’s a positive step towards cutting out plastics. So, your effort to adapt to using cardboard in place of plastic will help our planet in the long run.

Top tips for using a cardboard applicator

Twist it first:

The TOTM cardboard applicator tampon has a ‘twist and push’ design. Place one thumb towards the base of the cardboard applicator, and the other thumb toward the top of the cardboard applicator. Gently twist your lower hand slightly and push upwards to release the tampon. Shown in the example below:

Twist to release

Try using both hands:

If you’re finding the cardboard a bit rigid, try this method. Open the paper wrapper, and twist beforehand. Lower hands ready to insert. With your left hand, hold the grooves on the middle of the upper applicator, then place your right index finger flat against the bottom of the applicator. With your left hand holding the grooves lightly, push the tampon up with the right index finger.

Stay calm and go slowly:

Our top tip for those new to cardboard applicators is to stay calm and don’t rush. If you rush you risk twisting too hard or folding the cardboard which can trap the tampon! Twist lightly and push slowly.

Less plastic to protect our planet

As a sustainable period care brand, we’re continually looking for ways to be 100% plastic free and help people have plastic-free periods. If you’re the same and want to reduce plastic use as much as possible then consider this simple swap. A minor change to protect our planet for the future.

Ready to make the switch? Discover our £2 switch kits which contain a mix of our organic cotton tampons, pads and liners! Ideal to ‘give organic a -go’ on your next period.


If you’re ready for a reusable, shop our menstrual cups here!
You can also shop our reusable tampon applicator at Superdrug and Tesco.

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