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18.12.15

CHUCKING YOUR TAMPONS DOWN THE LOO? YOU'RE CONTRIBUTING TO A HUGE PROBLEM

Did you know there are over ten million tampons users in UK using an average of twenty tampons per cycle, of which approximately 60% are being flushed (without a second thought) down the toilet?  This means that 144 million tampons end up in our sewers, rivers and oceans each year, causing not only unnecessary blockages but a negative impact on our marine environment. Water companies across England and Wales spent approximately £70 million clearing more than 300,000 blockages in 2013 - and the problem is only going to get bigger. If, like me, you always assumed that disposing of your used sanitary products down the loo wasn't a big deal, then it's time to wise up. I've genuinely always believed that the UK's plumbing and sewage systems were more than capable of dealing with a few tampons, but it's shocking to find out that's simply not the case. Tampons are one of the biggest causes of blockages and efficiency difficulties, while the approximately 11,000 its estimated we'll use over our lifetime will either end up in landfill or the sea. That's not ok. So what can we do to ensure our tampons are disposed of correctly? Fab Little Bag is a new concept that aims to make the disposal process easy, efficient, hygienic and pleasant - as well as an affordable alternative to the habits we've formed over the course of a lifetime.


Fab Little Bag is a discreet little pouch that allows you to drop in your used tampon and seal securely, using only one hand. The patented clever finger loops make the process easy as pie and totally clean, meaning you don't need to be a contortionist to execute the process perfectly. Made 35% from organic material, the pouches are oxo-biodegradable (it doesn't require a biological process to degrade) and keep tampons out of the rivers, seas and sewers. There's no need to worry if there's a bin, enough toilet paper to wrap it in or a way of disposing descretely - Fab Little Bag puts you back in control of disposal, every time, anywhere. It's such a simple concept, but one that could make a real difference.

Lauren Davis, Marine Conservation Society Beachwatch Officer, says: "Increasingly people seem to be putting things down their loos that belong in the bin. Cotton buds, condoms, tampons, tampon applicators and sanitary towels are being flushed away with an 'out of sight, out of mind' perception and unfortunately more and more are ending up in our rivers and then on our beaches." I've never really thought about it before, but now I have I'll be thinking twice about dropping my sanitary products down the loo along with a few squares of Andrex. What I love about Fab Little Bag is how discrete and subtle the design is - nobody would ever know what they were for if they fell out of your bag in the middle of the office. The design is simple but strong, ensuring that even if you need to take your used items home then your bag is 100% protected from any contamination.

I definitely think we're exceptionally bad at chucking things down the toilet in this country; in the majority of Europe and America they simply don't dispose of used sanitary products in this way, because their plumbing systems can't cope with it. Having blocked the loo while on holiday in Florida because of my UK ignorance, it made me change my habits and think twice about how I disposed of my bits and bobs. If only I kept that up when I landed back in the UK... There's a huge education piece still to be done around correct disposal of items we often don't even consciously concern ourselves with, but this innovation is a simple and affordable way to make a difference. Although I need to re-train my brain after twenty years of behaving in a certain way, if it can stop the suffering of our marine environment and reduce my water bills, why the hell wouldn't I try? 

Are you guilty of chucking your tampons down the loo? Has this made you think twice?
What do you think of the 'Fab Little Bag' concept?


Fab Little Bags are available in packs of 20 (£2.99) or a handbag-appropriate pack of 5 (£1.99), that includes a re-usable box, from fablittlebag.com


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23 comments

  1. such a cool concept! I don't toss tampons down the loo but hate it when I have to use extra toilet paper to wrap the used ones and toss it in the garbage. Hope this will be available in Canada.

    www.shoppingobsessionblog.blogspot.com

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  2. I didn't realise how bad that flushing tampons down the loo actually was, thats kind of shocking - these sound like such a great little idea!

    Lucy | www.foreverseptemberr.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. I had no clue either. I guess more education needs to be done from school level upwards, so we're taught right from the get go how to dispose of them properly.

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  3. omg, ive flushed cotton down the loo :( this has been eye opening for sure!
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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  4. Please have a look at some reusable menstrual products. Not only better for the environment but better for you too! I started using a Mooncup or reusable pads after my youngest son was born and the difference it has made to my period is unbelievable. Less pain, less bleeding and less trouble.

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  5. This is a really clever little idea. I never flush tampons down the toilet - I was always told by my Mam that it's not a great thing to do for the environment!

    Megan xo
    Thumbelina Lillie | UK Beauty & Fashion Blog

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  6. Great idea. I will definitely be getting some of these!

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  7. I can't believe people are still flush sanitary products... When I got to uni, on of the girls I lived with mentioned she did it and I was horrified! And the owner of a shop I worked in said she spent on average about £500 a year on plumbing because my colleagues kept doing it, too. I think these bags are a great idea, especially as you can carry them home if there's no bin without worrying.

    Claudia Harriet // Student Lifestyle Blog

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    Replies
    1. So many of the bathrooms I go in don't have a bin of any kind, so you can understand why people do it - there should be some kind of law to ensure that happens, to minimize the issues for businesses in the long term. Definitely an interesting conversation!

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  8. Good concept! I am always careful about what I put down the toilet subconciously. I never put tampons down but I was surprised to learn from chatting to my housemates that they do it. xx
    alicekatex

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  9. Having watched a used towel float by me while swimming in the sea, I've made sure my daughter never flushes them away, and I haven't for years either. Bags are already available, but I like the one handed design and degradabilty of these.

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    Replies
    1. That's gross! I haven't ever seen any bags (other than nappy bags) so hopefully this is one of many businesses that will start to gain awareness in 2016.

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  10. This is such a great idea. I never throw anything down the toilet but the amount of people who do is shocking

    Lauren x | www.laurenapowers.blogspot.com

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  11. This is incredibly eyeopening, thanks for sharing and tackling the "not so sexy" topics!

    Stephanie xxxx
    http://missstephanieusher.blogspot.co.uk/
    https://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/hope-freedom-love-3436251

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    Replies
    1. I try to use my powers for good, not just 'evil' ;) x

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  12. Truly disgusting. The main reason why I don't throw mine down the toilet is because it ends up plugging it up and guess who has to use a plunger and clean things up? Me

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  13. I think this is such a hidden fact! For years and years I chose tampons BECAUSE you could chuck them down the loo, I thought they were designed for it. It's not until I saw on a documentary that showed it was actually someone's job to stand at the sewage plant to stand there and keep poking a huge pile (so sorry for the imagery.so sorry) that was just composed of condoms and tampons! So I changed my ways which has led to some really embarrassing situations such as popping them in my purse and promptly forgetting about them :) Such a good idea, thank you! xxxx

    Jesska - Opal Soul

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    Replies
    1. I think so many people have no idea - I didn't. I assumed they were made of materials that could degrade or something. Obviously towels, condoms, cotton wool and such is a different matter... But there's SO much education that needs to be done.

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  14. I think this is a great idea, good for the environment and prevents any further potentially embarrassing situations.

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  15. I think that these are a complete and utter gimmick, I think things like mooncups are a way better resolution to this issue and wrapping your tampons in toilet paper is just fine for me...£2.99 for a bunch of bags? No thank you! I think it's great you've brought this issue to the spotlight but definitely no way would I use this product to resolve the problem.

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    Replies
    1. They're not a gimmick at all if they help people and avoid an issue. It's about personal choice and making the process as seamless as possible. Toilet roll isn't always an effective or plausible option, and I personally find the idea of a mooncup revolting. It's about choice.

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  16. I'm obsessed with the Diva Cup. Solves all of these problems.

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  17. I don't mean to sound like a goody goody but I've never thrown anything but toilet paper down the loo before! I would never even think to throw tampons/condoms etc!!!

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