• Period product company Daye created a flushable tampon wrapper that can dissolve in seconds.
  • Company's founder says a lack of funding for research has limited innovation in the market. 
  • Most tampons contain plastics that can cause infections and contribute to high amounts of waste.

Period care company Daye wants to reinvent the market and tackle the problem of period waste, starting with its CBD tampons and what it calls the world's first flushable tampon wrapper. 

The UK-based company, founded in 2018, is aiming to create sustainable and science-backed products in a market that it says lacks innovation and is heavily monopolized. 

Daye said it created the world's first flushable tampon wrapper that is water soluble and dissolves in seconds, made from wood pulp, to help tackle period waste.

Daye's CBD tampons are lubricated with CBD extract to offer additional comfort to users, who say in their patient diaries that it also offered menstrual pain relief.

The tampons are made using cottonized hemp, a process that creates a a material similar to cotton by softening hemp fibres, and answers customers' call for eco-friendly and plastic-free period products. 

Most tampons contain plastic, which can cause vaginal infection and toxic shock syndrome — a life-threatening condition caused by a bacterial infection and harmful toxins, research by Middlesex University shows.

In addition, more than 90% of tampons contain petrol-derived plastics within the tampons, a Life Cycle Initiative report says. 

"You wouldn't chew on a piece of plastic for five days each month. So why would you place a piece of plastic against the most absorbent membrane in the human body?" says Daye founder, Valentina Milanova. 

Data from All Matters, a resuable period product company, shows that period products, including packaging and wrapping, produces more than 200,000 tons of waste a year. Menstrual products are the fifth most common item washed up on beaches in Europe, the European Commission found

Daye is making an effort to remove plastics from period care items through its products like pads made from bamboo, which is compostable at home.

Daye pads are biodegradable and made from bamboo. Foto: Daye

"It's important for us to create products that enable people to make sustainable choices and we're looking to make the pad have a flushable wrapper," she added. 

The general lack of research into period care products dates back to women being excluded from clinical trials until 1993, Milanova says. This was down to a "paternalistic view" that women could be pregnant at any point in time, meaning the clinical data could be affected. 

The US National Institute of Health (NIH) has had a policy of including women in clinical research since 1989, but it was not translated into federal law until 1993.  

Daye now wants to "bridge the gender gap" in clinical research and push for innovation in gynaecological health. The company is developing a product that will enable the screening of vaginal health at home through tampons, as well as a tampon to help fight vaginal infections.

The period product market is dominated by a few key players, which Milanova said can stifle innovation: "It's one of the last greatly monopolized industries."

There was also a lack of funding for research and development, she said. 

Daye is lobbying for period leave and is one of the few UK companies to offer it to their workers. YouGov statistics show that 91% of women have period pains and as many as 57% say that period pain has affected their ability to work.

Draft legislation could make Spain the first Europe country to offer three days of period leave to workers with severe menstrual pain.

"There's a need for more open conversations about the way that period pain affects workers and a bit more empathy," Milanova said.

"I like to think the Daye office leads the way on this because you always hear stuff about vaginal infections, period leaks and strategies for getting period blood out of your underwear. And so I hope every office becomes like that."

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