All types of women from students, to moms, to athletes are registering their voice by shifting their loyalty from the $2.53 billion (USD) disposable feminine hygiene market to the reusable menstrual cup. The 41 year menstruation span (11-52 years) creates billions of pounds of disposable feminine hygiene products being “dumped” into the environment. In 2007, over 80 million women in the U.S. alone were potential, monthly users of disposable feminine hygiene products. In 1998 alone, U.S. women disposed an estimated 13.5 billion sanitary pads and 6.5 billion tampons.
Billi Bierling, a German journalist and user of a menstrual cup who is currently climbing her way to the top of Mt. Everest, speaks out about how disposable feminine hygiene waste unfortunately affects even the most remote corners of the world. “Mountaineering is still a very male dominated sport; however, more women are conquering the highest summits in the world. Often, female climbers have to cope with the inconvenience of having their period during a climb. In this situation, women only have two choices when using pads or tampons: either bury them (which is not ideal as they do not biodegrade due to the altitude and the extremely cold temperatures); or carry them out (which is a hassle to say the least)! The Menstrual Cup solves this serious waste controversy on pristine mountain tops, and notably, in one's own environment!” explains Bierling.
The company fields inquiries from companies as far off as Nigeria and Russia who want a piece of the revived, menstrual cup category.
"Our menstrual cup is a good environmental choice, because it is reusable. Most women want to positively change their eco-footprint. Switching from disposable tampons and pads is as significant as switching from paper to plastic bags. Also, women save approximately $150 to $200 U.S. a year. More importantly, a menstrual cup eliminates their personal contribution to the billions of tampons and pads dumped into landfills and sewer systems, annually. Women continually tell us how personally empowered our product has made them," explains Francine Chambers, who started the company six years ago with her daughter, Carinne.
The menstrual cup concept was first introduced almost 80 years ago and millions were sold in the 50s and 60s, only to disappear from the market for quite a while. Recently, redesigned silicone cups are becoming very popular with women of all ages once again, because they are considered more reliable, convenient, less expensive and more environmentally responsible than tampons or pads.
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