So, you’ve already made the switch from single-use tampons and pads to reusable menstrual cups. Congratulations! Most cup users switch because they’re more convenient, more cost effective, and better for your body. For some menstruators, the switch to a Zero Cup was easy: trading disposable menstrual products for a sustainable menstrual cup equates to a fully zero waste period.
There are a number of reasons why you’d stop using a menstrual cup, such as period-stopping birth control, pregnancy, medications, or menopause.
What To Do With Your Menstrual Cup Once You Stop Using It?
If you’ve decided that it’s time for you and your menstrual cup to part ways, know there are many options available to you on what to do next.
Local Recycling Facilities
At the end of its life-cycle, silicone can be recycled, but you may find it difficult to find a facility that takes medical grade silicone. Getting in touch with your local recycling facilities is probably your best bet for handing over your old menstrual cup! They will be able to tell you their processes for recycling medical grade silicone and should be able take your old menstrual cup for recycling. If you don’t want to repurpose your Zero storage pouch, you can easily recycle textiles. If you’re based in the UK, you can use this tool to find your nearest facility.
Chop It Up
Zero Cup is made from medical grade silicone, so it is not compostable, per se. By design, it is not a hazardous waste material - so it will not cause damage to the environment in the same way that plastic does. You could chop your cup up into tiny pieces and sprinkle over the soil in a potted plant.
Burn Your Menstrual Cup
If you don’t want to send your cup to landfill but don’t have the time to contact your local recycling programs, then we have a solution for you. Burn, baby, burn!
Burning your menstrual cup leaves no trace behind and releases no toxic fumes in to the environment. Just bear in mind that burning your cup will take time, so it’s best to set up a (responsible) bonfire or throw it in to your fireplace for safe disposal.
Watering House Plants
Plus, your old Zero Cup will have markings along the side telling you exactly how much fluid you’re using to water your little plants. It’s a great way to repurpose your old menstrual cup and doesn’t encourage water waste, too! Succulents or cacti are the perfect plants for for your new tiny watering tool.
So there you have it! A little list of things you can do when your menstrual cup reaches the end of its lifecycle. If you have any further suggestions or recycling tips, feel free to leave a comment below!