Having your period can be a painful, messy event, and it can also produce a large amount of plastic waste. While there are already several environmentally friendly alternatives to pads and tampons — Diva Cup, anyone? — there are still ladies out there who like a good old-fashioned plastic applicator. Well, now you can have your plastic applicator and reuse it too, because a new company called Dame is making just that — a totally reusable plastic tampon applicator.

Now, if you’re thinking to yourself, “My tampon use isn’t wreaking that much havoc on our glorious natural world,” think again. According to the folks at Dame, 100 billion menstrual products are thrown away globally every year. Or, as they put it, “Enough to circle our planet 250 times.” (Try not to picture that.)

Dame has given their product the snappy moniker “D.” According to its makers, D is made from a plastic material called Mediprene treated with antimicrobial materials that make it self-cleaning. To use, you slide the tampon into the applicator, insert the tampon, wipe the applicator, give it a rinse under running water, and then pop it back into its case. Yes, you may have to rinse out your tampon applicator in a public bathroom now and then, but we’re sure other ladies will understand (and if they don’t, just remember that you’re the one saving the planet’s oceans and they’re the ones being all judgy).

It looks like Dame is also expecting to supply the actual tampons, because the D starter kit comes with six organic ones. That being said, looking at the prototype on their Kickstarter page, we can’t see any reason why you couldn’t pop a different brand of applicator-less tampon into the reusable applicator.

It seems we may be entering into something of golden age for greener period supplies. If you’re a Facebook user, you’ve undoubtedly seen about a billion ads for Thinx, the reusable period underwear that claims to soak up two tampons’ worth of period blood. (Thinx also announced a reusable tampon applicator that was supposed to launch last year, but the product has not yet materialized.) And many ladies are already happily free of disposable period supplies thanks to the Keeper or the Diva Cup.

If you think a reusable applicator sounds like just the ticket, you can get in on the ground floor with Dame’s Kickstarter campaign, here.

(photo via Getty Images)