It is the first health and beauty retailer to make the move in the UK, following in the footsteps of supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Aldi in its decision to stop producing plastic applicators.
The change to Superdrug’s products will save over 418kg of plastic each year. The brand will use cardboard applicators to replace the plastic varieties, alongside offering non-applicator tampons.
The retailer joined forces with environmental activist Ella Daish to work on the new initiative, who has been campaigning for companies and governments to remove plastic from women’s sanitary products.
Danish, the founder of the #EndPeriodPlastic movement, told The Independent: “It is fantastic that Superdrug have listened to the campaign and responded by not only stopping the production of their plastic applicators, but also developing and launching their own eco-range.
“I’m thrilled that they have taken these progressive steps and hope to see other manufacturers move forward in this way,” she added.
Sanitary products are the fifth most common item found on Europe’s beaches, surpassing single-use coffee cups and straws. It is estimated that over 200,000 tonnes of sanitary product material ends up in UK landfill every year.
Alongside its decision to ditch plastic applicators, Superdrug has also launched its first own-brand range of organic menstrual products. The new range, called “Luna” is made from organic cotton and plant-based plastics. It features two towels, for both day and night, and one liner for everyday use.
The cotton topsheet on the towels and liners are certified organic cotton to meet the Global Organic Textiles Standard while the packaging is made from renewable plant based materials.
Superdrug’s head of own-brand, quality and technical, Sarah Jenkins, said: “We are proud to champion sustainable initiatives and continue to make responsible choices. Ella’s tireless campaign to help end period plastic is inspirational, and we have been working with her over the past year to help bring about this change at Superdrug.”
In September 2019, Sainsbury’s became the first supermarket in the UK to stop producing plastic applicators for its own-brand tampons, removing 2.7 tonnes of plastic annually. Aldi followed suit earlier this year with its decision to scrap plastic in its own-brand tampon applicators, saving 14 tonnes of plastic per year.
Research from global market researcher Mintel found that concerns over the environmental impact of disposable plastic products are growing, as more women turn to eco-friendly alternatives such as moon cups and period underwear.