Is the Tulipon really sustainable? And is it as sustainable as a reusable silicone menstrual cup?
The short answer is: the Tulipon is not only very sustainable, it is more sustainable than a reusable silicone cup!
As the popularity of Tulipon increases, there have been inquiries about its sustainability since it is a disposable product. Some believe that reusable products are always better for the environment. However, this is not always true.
People often compare Tulipon to reusable silicone menstrual cups, assuming that they are more sustainable due to their ability to be used for up to 5 years. But nothing could be further from the truth!
The Tulipon cup is constructed from biocompatible and 100% recyclable polymers, and the applicator is entirely water-soluble, allowing for safe disposal by flushing it down the toilet once it has fully dissolved.
Comparing Carbon footprints: Silicone Vs. Fully recyclable Biocompatible Polymer
Here’s something many people are unaware of: although silicone is recyclable, it is less eco-friendly than a fully recyclable, biocompatible polymer.
Here are some key points to consider:
- Silicone is recyclable, but recycling it demands specialized processes and facilities. The silicone material must first be reduced into small fragments, then pulverized, and subjected to ultrahigh temperatures. The vaporized remnants are next chilled and trapped as a liquid, which undergoes various filtration phases before being converted into silicone oil. [source].
- Silicone recycling still relies on the use of fossil fuels. fossil fuels to generate the exceedingly high temperatures required to break it down. [source].
- Recycling silicone is considered downcycling where it gets deteriorated with each recycling process, yielding a lower quality product each time it’s recycled. [source].
- Fully recyclable biocompatible polymers are a more environmentally friendly option. These polymers are made from sustainable or recycled materials, and carbon-neutral energy is utilized during production. At the end of their lifecycle, products manufactured from these polymers can be either reused or recycled. [source].
- Biodegradable polymers that are fully recyclable can potentially reduce carbon footprint when compared to fossil-based plastics. [source].
In summary, silicone may be recycled; however, it falls short of being as environmentally friendly as a fully recyclable, biocompatible polymer. Such polymers are produced using renewable or recycled raw materials, and carbon-neutral energy is utilized during production. Resulting products can be used repeatedly or recycled after their useful life, positioning them as a more sustainable substitute to silicone.