Can You Recycle a Menstrual Cup?
So you’ve bought a menstrual cup that didn’t fit the way you’d hoped. Or perhaps you’ve been using your cup for the past decade and are thinking it’s time to retire it. There’s a good chance your decision to use a menstrual cup in the first place included environmental considerations & plastic free periods. Surely you’re not going to have to bin it now......are you?
Nope. Not even close.
As with all recycling, reducing and reusing, the challenge is coming up with options for your item. Thankfully, menstrual cup users and waste recycling companies have already been hard at work finding suitable solutions, which are summarised below:
Most public recycling plants don’t cater for disposal of medical grade silicone, but areas do have these facilities so it’s worth checking.
Hospitals also dispose of silicone medical devices on a regular basis and again it is worth checking if your local hospital recycles these, and whether you could ‘piggyback’ on their solution.
If the local options fail you, you can always post it to Canada! ‘Come As You Are’ is a Canadian company who recycle silicone sex toys, and they are happy to receive your sterilized menstrual cup by post. They will also give you a 15% discount on products in their store or online shop if you provide them with either your residential address or email address.
According to their website, Ruby Cup are also running a recycling trial which involves sending them your cup (they accept any brand) in return for a coupon code for their store.
Burning a silicone menstrual cup (in a safe and suitable fire facility, of course!) leaves nothing but ash which is free of soil-harming toxins. This ash can therefore be safely composted.
Even if your cup ends up being incinerated after a trip to landfill, it will be converted back to harmless natural ingredients (silica sand, carbon dioxide, and water vapor) unlike plastic.
Garden with it
Since it has no harmful effect on soil, your chopped-up menstrual cup can live happily around the bases of your plants with glass, pebbles or any other material you’ve used in your garden for decorative or practical purposes, and it won’t leach any nasties into its environment. Ever.
The handy measurement lines on the side of your cup also make it useful as a miniature jug for feeding or watering small or fussy plants which require controlled amounts.
One menstrual cup user has also come up with a design for a self-watering spinach planter which utilizes a retired menstrual cup with the bottom cut off and covered with a firmly attached piece of cloth. The spinach is planted in the menstrual cup and placed inside a tinted glass jar of the same size. Water is placed into the jar and the spinach can drink as it pleases.
See? Pain-free recycling of your menstrual cup is absolutely possible. And if you come up with any creative solutions not listed above, make sure to let the rest of us know! Next learn Are Menstrual Cups Safe to Use?