Reusable period products trial: can you help?

October 2nd, 2023

Project Period is now firmly embedded as part of the university’s infrastructure to provide free pads and tampons in toilets and other key locations across all seven UK campuses.

Though these are produced and disposed of as sustainably as possible, they are still single-use products. So we’re looking at how we might make reusable products – like period pants and menstrual cups – part of the Project Period offer.

We’re looking for colleagues and students who have periods to test these products – starting with period cups – and give us feedback on their experience. This feedback can be anonymous – or not.

It will help us to decide whether reusable period products are something that Project Period offers in the near future.

Reusable period products cost more upfront than single-use products, and this can be a barrier to first use – particularly for those experiencing period poverty.

However, they cost much less when used across an individual’s lifetime menstrual cycle. For example, menstrual cups can cost around £20 – but last up to ten years.

So five cups cost around £100 over 50 years of use, compared to around £5,000 for 11,000 pads and tampons over the same time frame.

Reusable period products are still a big unknown for many – and users don’t want to risk investing in something they may not work for them.

This trial – and your feedback – will help us better understand the level of interest in reusable products among the university community, as well as providing case studies of user experiences that may encourage other reluctant-but-interested people to try them out.

We are asking for two types of volunteers:

  1. People who are will to promote Project Period locally (for example, in their Departments, Schools, Halls of Residence, Courses, etc.) to encourage trials of reusable period cups and period pants. These volunteers will aim to recruit 10-20 people into a trial.
  2. People who will trial the products and provide feedback (anonymously or not) after three to six months of use. By commenting on experiences, we will gain understanding of whether these reusable products are preferred more or less than single use pads and tampons, hence determine if we discontinue or expand this offering in the future

To register your interest in volunteering for the trial please fill in this form and encourage your colleagues and students to do so too.

For more information on period cups, you can view this presentation and video guide and information sheet provided by our ethically sustainable partner company, Grace & Green.

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