Lil-lets re-usable applicator tampons

overall rating:



Hollie Banks
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Lil-lets have released a new product that they claim will allow people to “protect the planet with every period”, by creating a re-usable applicator for their tampons to reduce single-use plastic waste. They cite that the average tampon user throws away 286 single-use applicators each year, which is a useful and eye-opening figure to include. However, the fact they still sell many single-use applicators products does reduce the impact of this product, and an increased focus on making most of their products re-usable would increase their rating.

What it's made of:


The applicator they use in this product is made from thermoplastic elastomer (TPE), and the lid is made using high impact polystyrene (HIPS); both of these materials are easily recyclable depending on local guidelines. The box the tampons come in is also recyclable, and it comes with a cotton storage bag. The bag is a good addition to the product as it will prevent people from needing to buy further, potentially less sustainable containers for their tampons, and makes the product an easier commitment to buy. 

The tampons that come in the kit are made from organic cotton, which is vegan friendly. However, when buying more tampons to use with the applicator, the majority of their tampon options are not organic and are made using polyester, an oil-based plastic that does not biodegrade like natural fibres. The next step for Lil-lets is to depend on organic cotton for the majority of their tampon products, or alternatively, they could make the re-usable applicator only compatible with their organic tampons in order to ensure sustainability with every purchase.

How it's made:


Lil-lets have markets in the UK, Ireland and South Africa. I struggled to find any more information surrounding their manufacturing and production processes, which decreases their transparency as a whole. Including information about the processes they use to create their tampons would increase their sustainability rating.

Who makes it:


Lil-lets was sold to Premier FMCG in 2013, and they have revealed a new ESG strategy in 2021 which outlines plans to reduce its scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 42% by 2030, and to achieve net-zero for direct carbon emissions by 2040. These are promising outlines, as they give specific goals to their claims, however, we will not see whether these goals have been met until 2030 and 2040 respectively. I was unable to find any information about the employee standards that Lil-lets hold. 

In terms of initiatives conducted by the company, Lil-lets run programmes with schools focused on teaching people about the changes that occur when they begin to menstruate, and also have a disclaimer on their website stating that although they use the terms ‘women’ and ‘girls’, they agree with the inclusive language being used for people who menstruate. Having this further reflected on their website outside of this disclaimer would improve the impact of this statement.