Here are some helpful hits for teaching the proper disposal method at an early age in a public restroom, at school, at a friend’s house, or at home:
NEVER flush sanitary products (including tampons) down the toilet. Flushing tampons or pads can wreak havoc on plumbing. Tampons may flush, but they will not break down easily and can clog toilets, drains, and septic tanks and contribute to pipe blockages, leading to maintenance calls, time-consuming cleanup, and expensive repairs.
(Side note: It’s a good idea for business owners to print polite feminine hygiene disposal reminder signs to hang on the wall over the toilet or inside the stall door asking users to not dispose of feminine hygiene products in the toilet and instead use bags and waste receptacles provided for the disposal of personal hygiene items.)
Wrap up soiled feminine hygiene products. The most responsible and respectful way to dispose of a tampon (and applicator) or pad is to wrap it in toilet paper, facial tissue, or scented small bags made for wrapping tampons or pads in before disposal. Do not just drop soiled products in a waste bin unwrapped. No one else should have to view, smell, or handle your discarded products.
In public restrooms, tampons and sanitary pads are generally disposed of in small metal or plastic bins on the floor or attached to the stall wall next to the toilet. These bins typically have a liner, making it easier for cleaning workers to safely dispose of the contents. Make sure that when placing soiled products in the floor or stall bin that they go inside the bin’s liner.
Used sanitary products should never be left lying on the floor, even if there is not a sanitary disposal unit in the stall of a public restroom or a trash can in someone’s bathroom. Wrap them up and throw them away in the nearest trash can.
Immediately wash your hands after discarding sanitary products and using the bathroom.