Did you know that although your period may last only five or seven days a month, the industrially-manufactured sanitary pad or tampon that you use will take 500-800 years to decompose? Yes, you read that right. Not only will the waste you generate from your period out-live you, but it will also out-live many, many future generations on our planet. When used pads and tampons are collected in landfills or buried in the ground, toxic chemicals leach into the earth and are a major cause of hazardous pollution. They contaminate sources of groundwater and negatively affect soil fertility. In India alone, over 432 million pads and sanitary napkins are used annually, which require a staggering 24 hectares of landfill for disposal. 90% of pads and tampons are non-biodegradable.
When burnt instead of buried, an alternative rubbish disposal method which often occurs in developing countries such as India, the plastic and artificial components that pads and tampons are made up of release noxious fumes into the environment. These fumes are extremely harmful to all living beings to come into contact with them. All this is in addition to the fact that these same artificial and plastic components are also known to cause irritation and reactions in their wearers. So synthetic pads and tampons are not just killing the planet, they’re also bad for you. What it comes down to is that there’s really no excuse not to consider the alternatives!
But what are the alternatives? Turns out, there’s quite a few. Innovative brands are tackling the problem head-on and there is a range of solutions you can try out.
Carmesi’s All Natural Sanitary Napkins
These biodegradable pads and liners are made from bamboo fibre and corn starch. They are free from harmful synthetics and each bag comes with a resealable disposable bag. With every pack of Carmesi products sold, the company contributes to raising awareness of menstrual hygiene and providing safer period products to women in need across India. You can read more about their mission here.
Mirai Me’s 100% Organic Cotton Tampon
Another company on a mission to make biodegradable products for your period, Mirai Me uses 100% organic cotton in their tampons which are manufactured in Europe and packaged in India. These are perfect for women with an active lifestyle or those situations when a pad is not a good option.
Stone Soup’s Menstrual Cup
Stone Soup makes a reusable menstrual cup, composed of medical grade silicone which can last for years. This is the most environmentally friendly option of all, as you are not disposing of anything on a monthly basis. They have various size options to choose from, and also make washable and reusable cloth pads and liners.
Overnight Panties By Adira
Adira makes leak-proof overnight panties that can add extra support to your period protection of choice. They ensure that you won’t wake up with stained bed sheets and clothes. They are made with cotton instead of synthetic materials.
It is high time for all menstruating humans to reconsider how we manage our periods, and what products we choose to use. The planet is already under attack in so many ways as a result of our global cultures of consumption. There is no longer any excuse for your period to be another reason to inflict yet more damage to our planet!