How to dispose of a menstrual cup

Have you been using a menstrual cup to manage your period? Good on you! You’re averting 15,000 sanitary pads or tampons from going to landfill or polluting our oceans. 

A good quality menstrual cup can be reused for 10 years. But there comes a day where eventually you’ll need to dispose and replace it. 

We’ve had many people enquire about what to do with an old menstrual cup and how to throw away a menstrual cup. 

So if you’re wondering, ‘what to do if my menstrual cup is worn out?’ you’re not alone. In this blog, we’ll go through how to properly dispose of a menstrual cup.

how long can a menstrual cup be used for? 

A good quality menstrual cup can be used for at least 5-10 years. 

The Asan cup is made with Class VI medical grade silicone, which is super high quality and durable. So it will easily last you 10 years before you need to think about disposing of it. 

So there is really no rule about how often to dump your menstrual cup. You can use it for as long as it’s functioning properly for you and in good condition. you. 

how do i know when to discard my menstrual cup? 

You’ll know it’s time to dispose your current menstrual cup if it shows one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The silicone has become sticky when you touch it and feels like it’s melting
  • The silicone has a chalky or grainy texture on the surface 
  • The silicone material is showing tears or cracks 

Slight staining on a menstrual cup is completely natural and is not a reason to replace your cup. 

The Asan cup is made by adding red dye in liquid silicone. As it’s the same colour as your period, it doesn’t stain over time.

Now that we know when we need to dispose of your cup, let’s go through four ways you can discard your menstrual cup. 

1. take it to your local incinerator 

The best way to dispose of your menstrual cup is by taking it to a local incinerator. 

Most council areas have a local waste management plant where there will be an incinerator. So simply look for your nearest incinerator and drop off your menstrual cup there. 

2. take it to a medical facility to process as medical waste 

Another option to dispose of your cup is by handing it over to a medical facility near you. 

Every medical facility has separate waste disposal management systems for medical waste - including other medical-grade silicone items. 

This process usually involves incineration, which is where medical waste is burned in a controlled environment.

So when your menstrual cup is ready to be disposed of, you can just take it to your nearest medical clinic or hospital and the medical staff will take care of it. 

3. burn it in a home furnace 

If you want to dispose of your menstrual cup easily at home you can burn it so that the menstrual cup waste turns into ash. 

Unlike the plastic in sanitary pads and tampons, medical grade silicone does not release toxic chemicals so it is completely safe for you to burn. 

To burn your cup, just throw it into a bonfire or furnace fire at home.

Please do not try burning it any other way as this can be a fire hazard. 

4. throw it your trash 

If you don’t have a local incinerator or medical facility and can’t burn your cup at home, it’s completely okay! You can throw your menstrual cup in the trash.

Are you wondering, can silicone material be recycled? Well, no unfortunately it can't. As medical grade silicone is not recyclable or biodegradable, make sure you throw it away in the trash bin. 

While we know this goes towards landfill, contributing 1 small menstrual cup in comparison to 15,000 plastic sanitary pads over 10 years already makes you much more environmentally conscious. 

A menstrual cup is much cleaner for waste pickers to segregate compared to single-use sanitary products, so it does not cause a health hazard for anyone. And a cup won’t release any toxic fumes over time so there are really no disadvantages of menstrual cups in landfill. 

You might also want to consider sterilising your cup by boiling it one final time before throwing it into landfill, to make sure that humans or animals do not come into contact with any residual bacteria on your cup.

Learned about
how to dispose of your old menstrual cup and want to replace it with a new one? Shop here for the Asan cup now.