Ladies, perk up. I’ve got a zero waste champion that’s gonna make ‘shark week’ suck just a tiny bit less. The awesome zero waste champions at FabLittleBag have teamed up with phs Group to turn our used tampons into electricity! I know, how freakin’ cool! I had the absolute pleasure to learn more about the initiative from Martha Silcott, the founder of FabLittleBag.
What inspired the launch of FabLittleBag?
I was round at a friend’s house and had to change my tampon in the downstairs toilet during dinner. So I duly did the Loo Roll Wrap, went to put it in the bin but there was no bin! I wasn’t going to flush it as I knew that causes pollution, so I wrapped it up some more and then had to sneak it out in my handbag (we now call this the Handbag Smuggle as so many women have had to do this at one point or another). I spent the rest of the evening feeling uncomfortable that I had my used tampon in my bag. This made me feel cross and when I couldn’t find any solution out there I decided to invent one myself.
Tell us more about your partnership with phs.
When I heard about phs Groups’ unique LifeCycle™️ solution for sanitary waste I felt genuinely excited. Here was a washroom provider actually taking waste seriously and doing something really positive.
They are the only company in the UK that divert all the sanitary waste away from landfill and then treat it using a patented process, drying it out and rebundling it into bales of refuse-derived fuel (RDF). These are then sent to power stations to be converted into electricity.
Period power in action! I felt that a partnership would provide corporates, restaurant, hotels etc with a really positive CSR friendly solution. Not only does it ensure those corporates provide an environmentally conscious solution, encouraging flushers to become binners, but they also provide all their female staff with a hygienic, easy, feel-good way of disposing of their products.
Let’s face it, we’ve all had the experience of smeared or overflowing sanitary bins. By using FabLittleBag all sanitary items are sealed closed inside the opaque, biodegradable bag. This means there is no contamination, no bad odour when the lid is raised and no false impression of the bin being full when in fact items are just stuck inside.
Why is this partnership so important to those looking to reduce their waste?
There is no perfect solution for our waste at present so in the meantime, it is crucial that both corporate and individuals think about and take as much positive action as they can to minimise and reduce their waste. Our partnership with phs Group encourages both businesses and individuals to “do the right thing”. By this, I mean disposing of used products into the bins provided so that they do not cause blockages or pollute our rivers, oceans and beaches which can happen when these are flushed. As well as the prevention of aquatic pollution at source, FabLittleBag makes the whole process of binning your sanitary products feel so much better than during the Loo Roll Wrap. Once in the bins, the fabulous LifeCycle™ solution from phs Group then ensures that no waste ends up in a landfill but instead is treated and turned into energy. I believe that the importance and practice of turning waste into energy will only increase in the future. Our partnership is allowing this to happen right now.
What difference have you seen this partnership make?
We only launched a partnership in November 2018 and then Christmas got in the way so we are still at the very early stages however we have already seen many customers realise the value of addressing this issue in such a positive way. Just imagine if every company were to use LifeCycle™️ and FabLittleBags, the positive impact on reducing waste would be huge.
What has been the most difficult part of launching this initiative?
It is always a little difficult when the buyers and FM managers are male as they have no direct experience in doing the Loo Roll Wrap or dealing with bad odours from sanitary bins, so whilst they appreciate the many positive environmental aspects of this partnership, the more emotional positives can be more difficult to get across. We often use the example of trying to get a teabag from the cup to the bin without dripping all over the floor!
How can people participate in this initiative?
All businesses need to provide sanitary bins for their staff. Smaller businesses may have a normal bin, whilst medium and large businesses have sanitary disposal bins. No matter what the size of your business FabLittleBags, in their gorgeous dispenser, brings benefits to every person using it as well as the environment and the business itself. phs LifeCycle is of real benefit to the CSR policy of medium to large organisations. It’s a way of demonstrating that the company takes its environmental policies seriously and is doing something positive about them.
If you are an employee then you can suggest that your company looks into these positive solutions. If you are a CSR or facilities manager then please contact email me directly or phs Group to find out more information. And even if you’re not a company at all and simply an individual, being a Fabber can make binning feel good, bothe th at point of disposal and knowing that your tampons and pads are not polluting the rivers, seas and beaches.
What are your future plans for the initiative?
To continue to educate companies and individuals on the issues involved and to bring these positive solutions to as many organisations as we can.
What is your biggest advice for people looking to reduce waste in their lives?
Live by the mantra Reduce Reuse Recycle and be conscious of unnecessary packaging. Every little action makes a difference, no act is too small. The planet is worth it.