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Waste Free Period Program

A program to educate young people on their options when it comes to modern reusable period products

Waste Free Period Program

This program began as part of a trial in Timaru Girls High School. Since the trial we have provided this program in several regions including Canterbury (30 schools), Queenstown Lakes (2 Schools), Tauranga (10 schools), Western Bay (3 schools) Taranaki & Ruapehu (13 schools), Taupo (2 Schools), Wellington region (4 schools), Horowhenua (2 schools), Whanganui (1 School), Napier / Hastings (5 Schools).

In 2023 we will be growing the program to re-deliver in many of the schools we have already delivered in plus 8 schools in Hamilton, 3 in Waipa, 1 in Matamata and the list keeps growing!

The program includes a fun 45 min – 1 hour long presentation to introduce the concept of reusable menstrual products and talk about how to deal with period waste with the school students.

We generally have 100 cups OR 50 cups and 100 pads to give away at the school to the students to give the young women a chance to try reusable products. We also share online resources for the health department to share with students. 

After the presentation the schools (teachers and students) give feedback on how they felt about the presentation and if the students are willing to try reusable products.

What do periods have to do with waste?

According to latest statistics from 2017 there are 1,260,420 women of menstruating age between the ages of 12-50 years old. (Info share:

This is 1,260,420 women disposing of an average of 347,875,920 tampons per year into our landfills. This equates to 4974.6 tonnes of menstrual waste per year that goes into LANDFILL (Red Bin). Over the lifetime of all menstruating women (38 years) the figure that would be going to landfill would be 189,063 tonnes.

If these women were to use a menstrual cup
over the lifetime of their menstruation we have calculated that they would produce 2.356kg of menstrual waste and the waste is only silicone cups which are clean and not saturated with menstrual fluid. This equates to a total tonnage of 78.15 tonnes over the lifetime of disposing of cups into landfill over 38 years.

Wastewater Issues?

This project is really helpful when considering all of the wastewater issues councils are currently facing with the flushable product problem. It highlights and educates the students on why these products cannot be flushed and how to deal with them appropriately.


Timaru Girls High School.  

"As usual Kate’s presentation packed punch, and the girls were particularly interested in the re-useable menstrual products section (which was a bit of a hold-your-breath moment as we weren't quite sure how it would be received!) 

The "menstrual cup scramble" as it was aptly called was chaos, there were so many students wanting to try the product.Talk from the students after the event was really positive. 

There were plenty of "I would really like to have one" comments, and discussions about how much money they could potentially save (that could then go to much more essential products...!) 

 Kate had left me with a few to give away, and the interest has been so extreme that I have had to run a draw to determine who will get them. 

I couldn't help but feel that some of the girls who took the brave step of asking for them saw it as a need, rather than a novelty, particularly those from lower- socioeconomic families."
From Tracey Lissington, Dean, Head of Department, Timaru Girls’ High School.

Want to know more? Contact us!

Contact Kate and her team if you would like more information about the Waste Free Period Program
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