When it comes to sanitary items, many women look for a product that will protect them in terms of no leakage or smell, and comfort. What the product is made of and the environmental impact doesn’t often come to mind. It might surprise you to know that many tampons and pads use either synthetic fabrics or plastics as a major component of their make up.
Over her lifetime, a woman will use around 10,000 tampons or pads! Unfortunately, most of these products are made of things like polyethylene and rayon – plastics and synthetic fabrics – that take many years to break down, pollute the waterways, and increase the individuals carbon footprint.
From the outer wrapper and all the way through, an average menstrual pad is about 90% plastic! They're often uncomfortable, feel ‘plasticy’, and from an environmental standpoint, they’re super hard to get rid of! If we throw them in the rubbish, they go to landfill where they will never degrade. If they’re are incinerated, harmful gases are released that go into the air we breathe. And unfortunately, some people do flush them down the toilet, which result in them ending up in waterways and our oceans.
Many tampons also contain plastic, and we’re not just talking about the applicators! Most tampons are made up of a mix of cotton as well as rayon (plastic) fibres. This plastic component, like pads, will not break down in landfills, and if flushed can pollute waterways and lose fibres creating micro-marine litter in our oceans. With ocean life mistaking these for food, it’s also common for micro-plastics to work their way up the food chain – even ending up on your plate. On top of this, tampons can also often cause drying and irritation from their absorbent nature and the use of some fragrances.
From this perspective, we think it’s worth looking into more environmentally friendly and natural options! Luckily there are some amazing brands that offer plastic free, compostable and natural sanitary products. Our monthly cycle shouldn’t leave a lasting negative impact on the earth, and using these options can help women become more aware of their cycle and the intricacies of their amazing body.
Natracare offers certified organic pads and tampons which are 100% plastic free, compostable, biodegradable, and also are sustainably made. Natracare were the first alternative to conventionally produced menstrual products which at the time were bleached with chlorine gases, leading to dioxane build up. They were also the first brand to measure the complete life-cycle of the menstrual pads they produce!
The Mooncup is made from medical grade silicone, and is a reusable cup that can hold 3 x more than a regular tampon or pad! Mooncups can be easily emptied, rinsed, and reinserted, and can last for many years of use. Instead of using 10,000 individual items, a woman could use around 5 instead – that’s quite a difference in terms of waste, and money spent! As the first reusable silicone menstrual cup, Mooncup’s aim is to make the experience of periods more positive, healthy and eco-friendly. They want people to leave behind the disposable products and the toxins, bleaches, and dyes that come with them.
New Zealand owned Bon tampons are made from 100% cotton and certified organic. Bon tampons are easy to use, absorbent and importantly, comfortable! Packaged in a eco and handbag-friendly cardboard tubing, you can carry these without the worry of any loose, white missiles!
Shop online for our range of natural pads and tampons.