Ella Daish from Eco Elle recently started a petition calling on manufacturers to remove plastic from menstrual products. With over 100,000 signatures to date, WEN is working with Ella, as part of the Environmenstrual Campaign to push her petition calling on manufacturers to remove plastic from menstrual products.
How did you become aware of the issue of plastic in menstrual products?
When I first started working as a post woman I noticed every week on refuse collection day during my round the sheer volume of rubbish including baby’s nappies. The incredible amount of waste being produced from just one product shocked me. I then reflected on my own use of disposable menstrual products; what surprised me is how much plastic is being used in them and I hadn’t even realised.
What made you start the petition?
Thinking about how many women use these products worldwide, and how many like me, aren’t even aware of this problem, I felt compelled to do something. I had already started buying plastic free menstrual products but wanted to do more. I felt motivated to start the petition after seeing how much of a positive response campaigns on Change.org were getting.
Have you been surprised by the response?
I have been completely overwhelmed by the response, especially when it gained 22,000 supporters in just one day! It’s great to see so much positivity surrounding this issue and how many people clearly desire change, not only for us but also our planet.
What do you hope will be the outcome of the petition?
As for the outcome of the petition, I want to see the removal of plastic from these products and spread awareness of this serious issue. We really need to show the manufacturers that we don’t want these products to impact us and the planet.
Do you have any advice for women looking at sustainable/reusuable menstrual options?
When it comes to advice about reusable/sustainable menstrual options, I find it is always important to start by using something that you are comfortable with. I used to buy single use plastic tampons and pads, my first step naturally was to change to biodegradable versions of these. I then began looking into reusable options and started using a menstrual cup in conjunction with pads on lighter days.
Which woman, friend or somebody famous has inspired you the most?
My mum has been a flare of inspiration since I was little. She has always stood up for what she believes in, remained positive and reached out to people around her to help in any way that she can. She has always been there for me and encourages me to do whatever I want to do in life.
In Royal Mail I took part in a course called Springboard, our Instructor spoke to us about her life’s ups and downs. I found her inspirational because no matter what life threw at her, she always stayed motivated and kept going. She helped me become more confident and assertive.
Ella Daish has been a post woman working in the Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales for over a year. When she is not posting letters and befriending neighbourhood cats she engages her passion for the environment. In her free time she enjoys watching wildlife, being outdoors, eating biscuits, travelling and spending time with her parents, fiance and close friends.
Each year 200,000 tonnes of menstrual products including pads, tampons and panty liners are put into landfill in the UK. With around 90% of each menstrual product being plastic, these products are constantly being produced and disposed of and they can be toxic to the environment. We need to stop them being harmful, and stop them having a permanent life on this planet.