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Stop! Don’t Flush!


Written by Matt Workman, Account Manager


One of the most enjoyable parts of working at Innovation Gateway is engaging with innovators who are passionate about addressing as-of-yet unsolved challenges. Whilst their solutions are slightly outside of our usual remit, two such individuals have really stood out to me recently for this reason – not to mention the fact that they helped to educate me on issues that I have been previously naïve to.

Grace & Green 

Through the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator I was lucky enough to hear a pitch from Frances Lucraft, founder of Grace & Green. Through hearing this pitch I realised I had never even considered the environmental impacts of sanitary products, such as the raw materials used in them and their packaging. The environmental credentials of the Grace & Green range are very impressive indeed:

  • 100% certified organic cotton
  • 100% plastic free and biodegradable (including packaging)
  • Zero toxins, chemicals, dyes, synthetic fibres, or fragrance
  • Cruelty free and vegan
  • 1 tree reforested for every subscription purchased.

On top of this, they are also working to help end period poverty, which Grace & Green state is ‘on the rise in the UK, with 1 in 5 menstruating adults worried about their ongoing ability to afford products. Experiencing this can have a direct impact on success, confidence and happiness.’

To tackle this issue, they are working with several NGOs across the UK and abroad, as well as creating a Workplace Initiative to help with equality and inclusion in places of work and education.

“2.5m tampons, 1.4m sanitary pads & 700k pantyliners are flushed every single day in the UK. Sanitary waste is the 5th largest polluter of SUP[single use plastics] in our oceans.”

Fab Little Bag

The second innovative solution I came across via Everything Water is the Fab Little Bag from founder Martha Silcott. This incredibly well-designed solution aims to prevent sanitary products and condoms from being flushed down the toilet, thus reducing blockages and the amount of plastic reaching rivers and the oceans.

The scale of the problem really astonished me; according to Fab Little Bag ‘2.5m tampons, 1.4m sanitary pads & 700k pantyliners are flushed every single day in the UK. Sanitary waste is the 5th largest polluter of SUP[single use plastics] in our oceans.’

The bags themselves are made from 70% plant material and 30% recycled plastic, using a vegan glue to seal closed. Besides these credentials, education is also a huge part of their mission, whether that be through infographics in washrooms or via their online blog.

Fab Little Bags are available to purchase in high street shops, but are also offered commercially, including via the usual large washroom service companies.

This post is in no way sponsored by any of the companies mentioned, I just wanted to share my appreciation of them and hope that you too may have learned something.

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