October 21, 2020
An environmental campaigner has created a giant, plastic tampon – made from other people’s abandoned tampon applicators. 
This Woman Made A Giant Tampon From Other Peoples Applicators. Heres Why
Ella Daish, the founder of the #EndPeriodPlastic campaign, asked people to send her any plastic tampon applicators they found polluting their local environment, beach, or waterway. She ended up with more than 1,000 items, which she then used to create the 6ft sculpture. 
“I instructed people to take precautions when picking these up, not only due to the pandemic, but also because of where tampon applicators come from,” Daish reassures HuffPost UK. “People rinsed them off and upon receiving them I washed and disinfected the applicators – it was certainly a unique activity!”READ MORE: You Can Compost Your Period Products – Here's How Daish’s ongoing campaign urges brands and retailers to remove plastic from their period products. She’s already convinced Aldi, Sainsbury’s, and Superdrug to ditch plastic applicators for biodegradable, cardboard alternatives in their own-brand products.
Now, she’s got her sights set on the Queen of period products: Tampax.  
“Manufacturers like Tampax often put the blame on consumers to avoidownership of the problem, but they must be held accountable,” she says.
“As a manufacturer, they have got the resources and money to bring about change at source, this is exactly what needs to happen, to put a stop to the negative impacts downstream.”The giant, plastic tampon is designed to get Tampax’s attention. Of the applicators Daish was sent, 87.5% of them were Tampax. The remaining 12.5% were a mixture of other brands and ones which could not be identified.
“I was able to identify which manufacturers the plastic tampon applicators came from by looking at their different colours, shapes and patterns,” she explains. “It’s really easy to do and some even come with branded symbols on them, such as Tampax’s Pearl range.”
The finished tampon is made exclusively from 1,200 Tampax applicators collected from 15 locations across the UK.
“I expected a lot would be found, so when boxes and boxes arrived full to the brim with applicators, I wasn’t surprised,” says Daish. “However, I was shocked by the high number of applicators coming from specific locations, such as the River Clyde.”READ MORE: Why You Need To Stop Saying 'Sanitary Products' When Talking About Periods The project, which Daish began this summer, has been months in the making and creating the final structure wasn’t easy. 
“The applicators were attached to an underlying wire structure, there was no adhesive or plastic used in the process,” she explains. “It took a few months for all the plastic tampon applicators to arrive and for me to clean them, but the process of planning and constructing the giant applicator took about a month.”
Daish’s online petition calling for an end to unnecessary plastic in period products has already gained more than 237,000 signatures. She’s also written an open letter to Tampax, which has been supported and signed by a coalition of over 40 groups, politicians and activists, including Caroline Lucas, Gillian Burke, Julia Bradbury and Megan McCubbin.
HuffPost UK has asked Procter & Gamble, the makers of Tampax, if they have plans to change their products and will update this article when we receive a response.  READ MORE: Opinion: I Take A Day Off Work Every Month For My Period. Does That Make Me A Bad Feminist? Livia Review: Can This Cute Device Really 'Switch Off' My Severe Period Pain? We Tried Period Pants And Got Brutally Honest About Our Experiences
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