This Recyclable Tampon Applicator Is a Reminder That Period Products Are Destroying the Planet

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Screenshot: DAME.

Plastic tampon applicators are terrible for the environment. Not only do they flood our oceans but animals even mistake them for food and eat them, blocking their digestive tracts and contaminating the delicious shellfish you might want to eat in the future.


But if you’re someone, like me, who thinks cardboard tampons look like something you’d find in a grade school arts and crafts closet (plus they’re just uncomfortable) giving up the plastic version is hard. And while there are products on the market that lessen the environmental harm of tampons (o.b. tampons are applicator-less, for example) a new start-up aims to create a tampon alternative for those who still prefer the easy plastic version.

The company DAME. is trying to kickstart (literally, they are seeking funding on Kickstarter) a reusable tampon applicator. Made from Mediprene, a plastic used in medical products, the emphasis is on comfort. It’s a one-size-fits-all product that is easy to clean as well, just rinse and wipe off. And it seems to work just like a plastic tampon, by putting an organic cotton tampon in the applicator and pushing it through.

The period panty brand Thinx announced they were also launching their own reusable tampon applicator last year called re.t.a, but the product has yet to debut. If reusable tampons like this become a reality, it might be worth getting on board? It’s the least we can do for the fish currently drowning in old period waste.



My mom is European, so I always used OBs until I switched to a diva cup. When I got my first period, I read the directions (as a lapsed Catholic, my mother obviously didn’t teach me anything about all that) and just went for it. I never got applicators. They made everything very unwieldy any time I had to get one from a classmate. A reusable tampon applicator is the stuff of my nightmares.