Pilot results

Keep It Clear is working in a number of innovative ways to raise awareness about the sensitive topic of sanitary waste disposal.

A staggering 4.3 billion disposable menstrual products are sold in the UK every year. Although none should go down the loo, it’s estimated that every single day 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million pads are flushed down the toilet.


Most of these items also contain hidden plastic.


A ‘conventional’ box of menstrual pads contains around the same amount of plastic as four carrier bags.


Keep It Clear, working with City to Sea environmental  organisation, initiated a regional trial of unbiased school lesson plans to help spark debate about hidden plastics in sanitary items. The scheme, to raise awareness about the methods of disposal of sanitary items and reusable alternatives, is now being introduced nationwide in schools as part of new compulsory PSHE (personal, social, health and economic) lessons on the national school curriculum. 


Keep It Clear, working with behaviour change organisation Tell2Change, has also led on research into hidden plastics in items like sanitary pads, towels and other products.


In the first survey* of its kind, 96% of people said they wanted to know if items contained hidden plastics and demanded clearer labelling. Seven out of ten said they would be more likely to buy a product if it was labelled ‘plastic free’ and 100% of women who admitted flushing tampons in the past year would change their flushing and/or buying habits if they knew they may contain plastics.


(*215 people questioned in Ipswich, Lincoln, Peterborough, Southend: Anglian Water/Tell2Change, 2018)