Ditch The Disposables
31 March 2014 | Jo
11 Reasons To Ditch Disposable Menstrual Products Today!
1. You can not reuse or recycle these products.
On average a woman may use 12,000 - 15,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime. Pads, tampons and applicators generates 200,000 tonnes of waste per year in the UK. On top of this is single use plastic packaging, wrappers and cardboard boxes. That is a lot of landfill waste for a product you have only used once.
2. Using up Earth’s resources.
Production of disposable menstrual products uses up many of our earth's resources. This includes crude oil, water and trees. Disposable pads are made from 90% crude oil plastic which is non-renewable and a pollutant. It produces harmful gases in its production, such as Nitrogen oxide, Sulphur dioxide and Carbon dioxide into the environment.
3. They do not degrade easily.
Disposable sanitary pads can contain the equivalent of about four plastic bags. These plastics can take 500 years to slowly break down into small pieces. Some of this plastic will find it’s way into our rivers and seas. These smaller pieces of plastic continue to pollute our land, rivers, seas and our bodies.
4. Pollute Our Oceans
Many disposable sanitary products sadly end up in our oceans and on our beaches. In the UK The MCS (Marine Conservation Society) collected 1291 pads/pantyliners and 428 tampons along 96.67km of beaches surveyed during their Big Beach Cleanup 2013.
Around 2 billion sanitary items are flushed away in toilets every year in the UK. This includes plastic cotton buds too. Marine litter easily spreads across the world and 75% of marine litter is plastic pollution. More than one million birds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year throughout the world after either becoming entangled in or eating plastic materials found in the sea.
5. They are made from weird materials
Tampons are normally made from Rayon which is made from cellulose fibres derived from bleached wood pulp. To obtain the final product the cellulose goes through 16 unnatural stages involving a cocktail of chemicals, including bathing in a bath of sulphuric acid. Disposable Pads also made from bleached wood pulp as the main filler. Added with super absorbent plastic based gels, a plastic top layer, plastic bottom layer, plastic wings. They can be 90% plastic.
Disposable pads and tampons are not naturally white. They are bleached with chlorine which is an environmental and a health hazard. It contains toxic dioxin which has been labelled as the most potent carcinogen known to science. Dioxin is a by product of the chlorine bleaching process. It stores in your fat cells and is linked with abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs, abnormal cell growth throughout the body, Immune system suppression, Hormonal and endocrine system disruption.
7. The manufactures do not list all the ingredients.
Pads and tampons are classed as a medical product and therefore do not have to provide details about ingredients. Recent testing from Womens’ Voices For The Earth found several chemicals of concern in Always pads including:
Styrene: carcinogen Chloromethane: reproductive toxicant Chloroethane: carcinogen Chloroform: carcinogen, reproductive toxicant, neurotoxin Acetone: irritant.
8. Fibres remain in the body
After removing tampons fibres cling on to the vaginal wall, allowing prolonged exposure to chemicals used during the bleaching process.
9. Full of bacteria
Disposable pads and tampons are not sterile. Despite there appearance they are not a sterilised product. They can harbour unacceptably high bacteria counts of up to 11,000, over 10 times the international safety standard. This can lead to vaginal infections.
Toxic shock syndrome is a life-threatening bacterial infection which is associated with tampon use. To reduce the risk of TSS please change your tampon every 4-8 hours, use low absorbency tampons for your flow, do not use tampons in between periods. The condition is diagnosed by looking for the typical symptoms and checking for evidence of organ failure.
The symptoms of toxic shock syndrome tend to come on suddenly and include:
a high temperature
red rash (like sunburn)
feeling light-headed or dizzy
Disposing of 12,000 - 15,000 menstrual products is wasteful for our environment and to your pocket. It’s a lot of money to spend on a product that is thrown away and unhealthy for your body and the environment. Cloth pads can be reused for around 5-10 plus years and menstrual cups can be used for around 10 years.
Reusable menstrual products are comfortable to wear and are made to suit your body. Would you prefer a crinkly, sweaty plastic bag between your legs or a soft, fitted pad designed to suit your body and flow.
Switch to reusable menstrual products today. Better for the environment, your body and your pocket.