Plastic in your pants, what’s the big deal?!
Plastic is derived from crude oil, and we all know how bad that is for the environment, but it doesn’t stop there! When it comes to menstrual products, they are constantly being produced and discarded. In one year alone we will be throwing away 100 billion menstrual products globally. In the quest for more absorbent and modern products, the menstrual product industry has overtime replace natural materials (such as cotton) for synthetic materials. This has resulted in conventional menstrual products and there associated packaging being made almost entirely of plastic. Just one disposable pad contains 4 bags worth of plastic!
And if like us you are wondering if having so much plastic up against a very sensitive part of your body could be harmful?
The honest answer is we don’t know! There have been no studies testing the safety of conventional menstrual products and manufacturers aren’t even required to list the ingredients in their products.
What we do know is that the tissue of and surrounding the vulva is very sensitive and absorbent. So we should always be mindful of the products we use in that area.
Plastic is not known for its breathability, in fact, quite the opposite, it will make you sweat! This trapped sweat results in bacteria build-up which is why disposables can smell and why they are coated in perfumes and fragrances. It’s not you, it’s your pad! Disposable pads are also associated with contact dermatitis (medical speak for pad rash). In short, your vulva needs breathability, and disposables don’t offer any!
So what happens when you throw that pad away? Well, it will either end up in the ocean, where it will wreak havoc on the delicate ocean ecosystem. Breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces of plastic, eventually turning into microplastics. Or it will go to landfill where it will sit releasing toxins into the earth for the next 500-800 years. The truth is plastic never biodegrades, every bit of plastic that was ever made is still here on Earth!
Your period will on average be contributing 112 plastic bags worth of plastic to landfill per period. That’s a lot of plastic! But what can you do about it?
Well, fortunately, there are great options out there like the once you can find on this website. Cloth pads and menstrual cups are reusable so they do not contribute to the landfill every month. They are healthier for not just the planet but also your body as they do not contain any chemicals and have undergone safety testing. Lasting up to 10 years they pay for themselves over time saving you money. What’s not to like?