Considering you probably get your period every single month, it’s hard not to think of the waste you produce in menstrual products over the course of your menstruating life. Yes, there are menstrual cups and reusable pads, but if you’re in a bind when your period catches you unexpectedly, it’s just so much easier to use disposable tampons and pads.
Which is why it’s good news that Thinx just announced a new way to cut down on period waste with the re.t.a. — the first FDA-cleared reusable tampon applicator.
The re.t.a. is made of BPA-free, medical-grade materials, and is a more sustainable way to continue using disposable tampons without having to throw out a new plastic applicator each time. It’s meant to be compatible with most applicator-free tampons like O.B. or Cora.
The device comes with three parts: a rounded cap that goes inside you, a pusher (think of Flonase packaging), and a holder for storage. You sandwich the tampon inside the cap and use the pusher to plunge it through the cap, just like a regular tampon. Neat!
It’s probably best suited for people who aren’t too squicked out by their own blood since you will have to clean it off and carry it around with you, but it’s definitely a cool idea.
One potential issue though? The price tag. The re.t.a. retails for $ 60, which is a lot for a period product. Even most menstrual cups are less than $ 40. And the re.t.a. still requires you to keep buying tampons. However, if you’re serious about reducing your waste and hate thinking about all the plastic tampon applicators that stack up over time, it might be the best $ 60 you’ve ever spent.
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