How to Recycle Your Old Menstrual Cup
One of the many reasons women switch to menstrual cups is to help the environment. There will come a time when your menstrual cup has served its purpose and will need to be replaced. The question is, what do you do when it is time to dispose of your menstrual cup? Can you dispose of it environmentally? We have everything you need to know about how to recycle your old menstrual cup.
Disclosure: “Please note that some of the links below may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. Click here for the full disclosure statement.” Also, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see full Amazon disclosure at the bottom of the page
When to dispose of your menstrual cup
There are different recommendations on when to dispose of your menstrual cup. Many women keep their menstrual cups for several years once they have found the perfect fit. The answer depends on your personal preference and manufacturer recommendations.
Some brands such as Dutchess, Pixie, FemmyCycle, and Saalt claim their cups can last up to 10 years. Other brands such as the Diva Cup recommend replacing your cup every year. There are options for affordable menstrual cups.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide when it is time to recycle your menstrual cup.
Can I Donate my Used Menstrual Cup?
We do not recommend donating used menstrual cups, although it is possible. There are online forums and Facebook groups that accept menstrual cup donations and even sell like-new cups. If you are looking to donate to women in need, we recommend purchasing your next cup from a company with charitable initiatives.
Can I Throw Away my Used Menstrual Cup?
Although simply throwing your menstrual cup into the trash (bin) is an option, it is not ideal. Since menstrual cups do not contain plastic they do not have harmful or hazardous materials that will impact the environment. If you have no other option, you put it in the trash but we recommend recycling your old menstrual cup.
how to recycle your old menstrual cup (facilities)
The best way to recycle an old menstrual cup depends on the material of your cup. Most menstrual cups are made of medical-grade silicone, TPE plastic, and rubber latex. All of these materials are recyclable, but it must be done properly.
Local Recycling Center
Many recycling centers may not accept medical-grade silicone. If they do, it is usually restricted to large companies; they will likely not accept small products such as one or two menstrual cups. You should contact your local recycling facility and ask if they will accept menstrual cups. It is important to know the material used for your menstrual cup so it can be disposed of properly. It can be difficult to find a facility but do not be discouraged.
Menstrual cups made of TPE plastic are easier to recycle than medical-grade silicone. If your local facility accepts number 7 plastic you can simply recycle it with your other items. If you have the Hello Cup, the company will recycle it for you in their plan. All you need to do is wash it, cut it up, then send it to their factory in New Zealand. This may seem excessive, but with the money saved over the last 5 – 10 years, it is a small investment.
There are very few menstrual cups made of latex. The most popular latex menstrual cup is The Keeper, which is made from gum rubber and is biodegradable.
Sex Toy Recycle Facility
What do you think people do with their old sex toys? Many people throw them away (BIG NO NO), but they can be recycled. Sex toys are made of medical-grade silicone similar to menstrual cups. Call the facilities below to see if you can recycle your old menstrual cup.
- Scarlet Girl
- Sex Toys Recycling
- Come as You Are (Canada) – The process for recycling your menstrual cup is made easy with this company. Simply boil your cup, place it in an envelope, and send it to the address provided. Be sure to include your email address to receive a 15% discount on their products.
- Lovehoney (UK Residents)
You may have guessed, hospitals rely on devices made of medical-grade silicone and they will eventually dispose of them. It may be helpful to reach out to your local hospital to see how they recycle their products and if you can contribute to their recycling.
Pro Tip: You want to contact the Environmental Services Department within the hospital.
how to DIY recycle your menstrual cup at home
If you are unable to find a facility to recycle your menstrual cup, the next best thing is to do it yourself. It is important to know the proper way to dispose of your menstrual cup based on its materials. If you are not sure what to do, contact the brand customer service and ask the best way to recycle your old menstrual cup.
If you have a bonfire one of the best ways to dispose of your menstrual cup at home is to incinerate it. This should ONLY be done if your menstrual cup is made of medical-grade silicone. This material takes a long time to burn, so using a bonfire is the best way to set it ablaze. It is not advised to burn on the stove or in the oven. DO NOT burn with artificial wood such as Durflame, it can release potentially harmful gases. Burning silicone is safe and will not release harmful gases into the air. When your menstrual cup is completely burned it turns to ash and is harmless much like sand.
Water Plants (Gardening)
You can turn your old cup into a watering tool for your plants. It is perfect for cacti or succulents and prevents you from overwatering your plants.
Cut and Dispense
One of the easiest ways to recycle your menstrual cup is to cut it up and place it in your plants or the soil. Since menstrual cups are not made with plastic they do not release harmful material into the Earth.
creative ways to recycle your old menstrual cup
This option is not for everyone. Some people may find it weird, while others will find it fun and quirky. If you are the latter turning your menstrual cup into a work of art or an organizer may be fun. As long as the product is cleaned and sanitized, you are only limited by your imagination. Here are a few items we came up with to recycle your old menstrual cup creatively.
Arts & Crafts
If you are into arts and crafts you can use your menstrual cup to paint. I must admit, I am not the artistic type and am not sure how you can turn this into art. I did hear there is art in everything, so you may be able to turn it into something spectacular.
I used a few menstrual cups that we no longer needed to organize my makeup.
For some reason, I always lose my earrings. I have easily gone through 20 pairs over the last 2 – 3 years, because I usually place them in the bathroom and when I look up they are gone. I have a jewelry box, but I have repurposed it for other things. This is a cool way to keep your little things in the same place, especially if you have a little one.
There are a lot of ways to dispose of your old menstrual cup. Remember, one of the reasons for making the switch was to help the environment. Taking the time to properly recycle your menstrual cup is just as important as deciding to make the switch. Do you have other ways to dispose of your cup? If so comment below.