Plastic Free. Period.

This initiative focuses on the potential carbon saving, cost savings and health impacts for the residents of Frome, through switching to plastic free menstruation products.

Did you know that your choice of menstrual products can impact both your health and the environment?

Switching your period products means you can: 

  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Shring your carbon footprint
  • Save money
  • Reduce the impact of conventional products on your health

The average person who menstruates, who hasn’t yet made the switch to plastic free products, throws away up to 200kg of menstrual products in their lifetime. With estimates that period products are made of 90% plastic that’s a colossal amount of plastic being added to landfill, not to mention the amount of period waste that makes its way into our waterways. Resuable period products have significantly less plastic content and by switching to an eco alternative you will save adding to landfill and reduce water polution. 

On average, a year’s worth of a typical menstrual product impacts on climate with a carbon footprint of 5.3kg CO2 equivalent. For the population of Frome that could mean a whopping 72,000kg of CO2e per year.

And then there’s the financial cost – each period costs on average £10, that’s £130 a year and nearly £5,000 over a whole lifetime.

From a health perspective menstrual products often contain harmful chemicals such as phthalates, bisphenols and pesticides. Some of these chemicals are intentionally added, and others are unwanted contaminants. Brands don’t currently have to list ingredients so it’s hard to know which chemicals are in a product.

What are the alternatives?

Switching to plastic free menstruation products is the key to reducing environmental, financial and health impacts.

The plastic free options available vary and everyone has their own preference. The following series of FAQ answer questions about the different products available, from period pants to menstrual cups and washable pads.

Frequently asked questions about plastic free period products


If you’re just starting out on your plastic free period journey you’ve no doubt got a few questions and the practicalities of switching from disposable products. We’ve collected answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about period pants, reusable pads and menstrual cups. If you still have answered questions we’ve also added links to a variety of brands’ FAQ pages. It’s worth noting that all brands are slightly different so once you’ve decided on which one to try, we’d definitely recommend looking at the FAQs specific to their products.

Menstrual Cups

How does it work?

A menstrual cup is inserted like a tampon and some brands can be worn for up to 12 hours depending on the cup and your flow. You will need to fold your cup before you insert it. Different techniques can be seen in this Mooncup video. 

How do you know when it needs emptying?

Some cups can be worn for up to 12 hours but it’s recommended that when you first start using a cup you check it after 4 hours and you’ll start to build an understanding of how often you’ll need to empty it.

Is emptying it messy?

It’s best to remove the cup while over the toilet or in the shower but you should have little to no spillage.

Do you need to wash it after emptying?

You should wash your cup at least once every 10-12 hours. If you empty it more often than that you don’t have to wash it every time – that’s up to you.

How do you clean a cup?

Hot water and a vagina-friendly soap is all you need. The advice is not to wash your cup with a soap if you’re not sure of the ingredients. Advice varies slightly with different brands so please check the instructions on your chosen product.

Can I go to the toilet with a cup in?

Yes. You may find that it moves down a bit after a bowel movement but you can just nudge it back into place.

Does it ever leak?

It shouldn’t! But wearing a backup pad is useful when you first start wearing a cup for peace of mind and extra protection while you’re learning to use a cup. 

Can I swim when wearing a cup?

Yes, you can continue to do all kinds of exercise whilst wearing a cup.

Lots more questions and answers can be found on the following websites:

Period Pants

How long can you wear a pair of period pants for?

The answer to this will depend on the brand and your flow, but can be anywhere between 8 and 24 hours. For example, a pair of WUKA’s ‘light flow’ pants will hold 1-2 tampons worth of liquid; a ‘heavy flow’ pair can hold up to 4 tampons worth. Modibodi offer a Maxi-24hrs pair!

How can you tell when you need to change the pants?

Period pants should feel comfortable and dry, so if you start to notice dampness then it’s time to put on a fresh pair.

Do they leak?

Period pants should not leak if you change them when you need to. But many brands recommend that you try them out at home first to understand how they work for your flow.

Can they go in with your normal washing?

Yes, but they should be rinsed soon after use – do not allow them to dry out after wearing. Then they can join the rest of your washing but don’t use fabric conditioner as this can affect the fabric’s function. Line dry the pants as tumble drying can also affect the absorbency. Washing instructions will vary between products so make sure you check the specific advice for your chosen product.

Visit the websites of brands for more period pants FAQs:

Washable pads

Can they be washed with my other laundry?

Yes, no need to separate them, but as with period pants, it’s advisable not to use fabric softener as this can reduce their absorbency. Washing instructions will vary between products so make sure you check the specific advice for your product.

What do I do with used pads when out and about?

When you change your pad just pop it into a carry/travel pouch and wash when you get home. Most brands will have a pouch to go with their pads.

How often should I change my pad?

Reusable pads work in the same way as disposable pads, so you’d probably be looking at changing your pad every 4-6 hours depending on your flow.

Visit the websites of brands for more FAQs on washable pads:

Where can I buy plastic free period products?

Along with Frome Town Council, we’ve created an inventory of locations where sustainable products are available in Frome, and have secured online discounts for residents who would like to try sustainable period and incontinence products.


Local shops selling plastic free (reusable and disposable) menstrual products, with discount codes where these are available. Please let us know if you find any more!

  • Oakville (3 Badcox, BA11 3BQ) – Glo bamboo pads, menstrual cups and Natracare products, 10% discount when you quote 'Plastic Free. Period' instore
  • Shop Next Door (17 Stony Street, BA11 1BY) – Natracare products, Flurries period pants and Mooncups, 10% discount when you quote 'Plastic Free. Period' instore
  • Acorn Pharmacy (95 Locks Hill, BA11 1NG) – Flo organic tampons, 10% discount when you quote 'Plastic Free. Period' instore


You can also buy online directly from the growing number of brands producing plastic free period products. Here are just a few to get you started:

  • Wuka - period pants, 15% discount with code FROME15
  • Revol Undies - period pants, 15% discount with code FROME15
  • Cheeky - period pants and washable pads, 15% discount on non sale items with code cheekyfrome15
  • EcoFemme - washable pads, 15% discount with code FROME15
  • AllMatters (formerly Organi Cup) - menstrual cup, 25% discount with code FROME25
  • Mooncup - menstrual cup, 10% discount with code FROME24
  • fluxies - period pants, 20% discount with code FROME20
  • The Period Lady - menstrual products, period pants and more, 15% discount on non sale items with code Frome15

What else is happening in Frome?

Our first wave of activity involved 1000 students across Frome engaging in educational workshops delivered in partnership with the Women's Environmental Network and their Environmenstrual Ambassador.

With the support of the local community, we've raised £1650 which has helped us provide 335 plastic free period packs to young people in Year 8 and 9 in Frome schools. 

We are continuing to deliver educational classes in local schools, during which we share tangible actions people can take, to care for themselves and the environment.

We’ve encouraged nearly 60 people to take the Plastic Free. Period. pledge to switch to sustainable menstrual and incontinence products. That’s a saving of approximately 340kg of disposable/plastic-based period and waste entering the environment.

We’re continually engaging with Frome residents via Frome Families for the Future Plastic Free. Period. workshops and pop-up stalls and distributing period pants to individuals who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford them.

We have secured a demo kit of different sustainable period product options, which we can now take to events and schools to help spread the word and raise awareness.

Want to get involved?

There’s a variety of ways to get involved whether that’s by making the switch yourself to helping to spread the word, volunteering at one of our events or even hosting your own.

Please use our online form to get in touch. 

Listen to our specially commissioned poem, May The Pants Be With You

We commissioned spoken word poet, Liv Torc, to write a poem for our Plastic Free. Period campaign.

You can watch Liv recite the poem in the below video.