Zero waste Live!

What about periods

11th October 2021 · 2:00 PM (CET)

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If there is one issue at the intersection of health, environment, and people’s empowerment it is menstruation.  Evidence of the serious environmental, health and social impacts that the production, consumption and disposal of single-use menstrual products create is building.

Most conventional menstrual products being sold on the EU market are single-use, made of 90% plastic contributing in large to waste generation and marine litter (most of these products end up incinerated, landfilled or littered which leads to serious environmental impacts).

These products also contain a cocktail of toxic chemicals which are known to be endocrine-disrupting substances linked to heart diseases, infertility and cancer (harming menstruator’s health). Not everyone that needs menstrual products has access to them (one in five women cannot afford basic single-use menstrual products in the EU, contributing to menstrual poverty); and people with the least economic power have the greatest exposure to these dangerous products since the cheapest single-use menstrual products are often those with the most potential to damage our health and planet.

This webinar is part of the #environmenstrualweek 2021, and we will examine in greater detail these impacts as well as providing some solutions of how to achieve social and environmental justice for menstruators. It will go into greater depth to answer these key questions:

  • What does the evidence say on the environmental impacts of single-use menstrual items comparing to reusable ones?
  • What are the biggest health and social issues associated with single-use menstrual products?
  • How to achieve social and environmental justice?


Claudia Giacovelli

Programme Officer, Life Cycle Unit, Economy Division, United Nations Environment Programme

Claudia Giacovelli joined UNEP Life Cycle initiative in Paris, in 2020. Before that, she has worked at the UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) in Osaka for 4 years, where she supported developing countries in implementing sustainable solutions to environmental and climate challenges, with focus on waste management. Her background is in development economics and social sciences. Before UNEP she served at UNIDO South Africa for over five years, to secure partnerships and mobilize funds for climate mitigating projects and fast-track the transition towards an energy efficient and low carbon economy.

Helen Lynn

Health Campaign Coordinator, Women's Environment Network (WEN)

Helen has campaigned on issues linking gender, health and the environment for the last 25 years. Specifically in relation to the links between health and toxic chemicals in consumer products such as cosmetics and period products. She founded the Alliance for Cancer Prevention and was one of the founders of the No More Breast Cancer Campaign, campaigning for recognition of the environmental and occupational risk factors for cancer. Helen has spoken widely both in the UK and internationally on environmental and occupational cancer prevention, toxic chemicals, and menstruation. She has worked with WECF on health and gender issues and is the Health Advisor for Wen (Women’s Environmental Network). She is also a researcher specialising in work on gender, health and the environment. Helen is currently working on organising the Environmenstrual Week of Action 21.

Ana-Marija Mileusnić

Waste management officer, Friends of the Earth (FoE) Croatia & representative of FoE International's WG on Gender Justice and Dismantling Patriarchy

Ana-Marija Mileusnić is an environmental activist and a feminist working on Waste programme in Zelena akcija / FoE Croatia and she is actively involved in Break Free From Plastic's work. Apart from her work on fighting the plastic pollution crisis she is a passionate educator/ trainer on the topic of climate/environmental activism with a strong focus on anti-oppression, inclusive organising and intersectionality.

Larissa Copello - Moderator

Consumption and Production Campaigner, Zero Waste Europe

Larissa has a background in Law and she worked as a Legal Consultant on environment, health, and safety policies. She is passionate about environmental protection and sustainable development practices. She likes to organise and manage her time well, but she is also ready to deal with unexpected and adverse situations. Also, Larissa is a zero waster at heart, and enjoys running campaigns and empowering people towards sustainable consumption patterns.

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Enjoy the Webinar!


Supported by the LIFE Programme of the European Union. This website does not necessarily reflect the views of the donors.