TOTAL PROJECT COST – €15,200
- Organisation Applying for Funding: Rezero
- Project Duration: September 2023 to June 2024
- Area of Interest: Plastics
- Other entities involved: Local Schools
Summary of the project
The project aims to prevent waste from single-use tampons and sanitary towels, which are not recyclable and are in the top 10 of single-use plastic waste on beaches and oceans of the European Union, through menstrual education.
The proposal consists of an educational programme on sustainable menstruation and it will be aimed at students in 3rd and 4th ESO and will present the options of reusable menstrual products.
Currently, the vast majority of menstruating girls, adolescent girls, women and other menstruating people use single-use products such as tampons and pads. Menstrual habits are closely related to menstrual education, access to transparent and accurate information on all existing options, and their visibility and accessibility in the marketplace. In all these aspects, reusable options are at a disadvantage compared to single-use. According to existing surveys, 80% of women would prefer to use other, more sustainable methods.
Over the course of a woman’s fertile life, approximately 14,000 single-use menstrual products are needed, equivalent to 180 kg of non-recyclable waste, destined for controlled deposits and incinerators. Approximately 135 million products are consumed annually in the Balearic Islands. Sanitary textile waste accounts for 3% of total municipal waste. This waste is a serious problem for marine ecosystems, as some people flush it down the toilet and it can end up in the sea (it is among the top 10 most abundant single-use plastics on European beaches and oceans).
Pads are made of 90% plastic of different types, while tampons are made of absorbent materials and usually have an applicator and individual plastic wrapping.The Balearic General Waste Law includes specific articles on the promotion of reusable menstrual products and in 2021 the Balearic Government approved a NLP for the distribution of menstrual cups in schools.
Social, Economic and Cultural Outcomes
- Encouraging changes in public/consumer behaviour to better preserve, protect, and regenerate the natural world;Reduced waste/better waste management
- Waste reduction/improved waste management
Description of the project
The proposal consists of carrying out an educational programme on sustainable menstruation in several schools in Menorca. The programme will be addressed to 20 groups of 3rd and 4th of ESO.
The main purpose of the educational programme is to provide a solution to the significant lack of menstrual education that currently exists in schools and that has a direct impact on the quality of life of girls, adolescents, women and other menstruating people, as well as on the environment, by perpetuating the use of menstrual products with serious environmental impacts and making reusable options invisible.
- To understand the functioning of the menstrual cycle from physiological, psychological and psychosocial perspectives.
- To empower people to experience menstruation naturally and freely.
- To reflect on the main myths and taboos surrounding menstruation and to resolve doubts about it.
- To raise awareness of the main impacts of single-use products on the environment (generation of non-recyclable waste, consumption of raw materials, littering, etc.), on people’s health (presence of toxic substances in single-use products such as endocrine disruptors), on the economy (up to 2,500 euros over a lifetime) and on society in general (big brands of single-use products and business models).
- Promote responsible consumption of menstrual products.
- Provide information as a key tool to empower adolescent girls to choose their own menstrual methods and products according to the needs of their bodies and the environment.