Is your period care eco-friendly? This may be something you have never stopped to think about. After all, with the taboo that surrounds periods, this topic is often left out of conversations.
But attitudes are changing. There is a rising awareness when it comes to the impact we are having on the planet. Together, we can reduce waste and prevent further damage to the environment.
On average, we EACH dispose of 11,000 period care products in our lifetime. It’s therefore so important to be aware of what you are using on your period and stop to think what happens to this after you dispose of it. Unfortunately, you may not be aware of the high plastic content in conventional products, as period care brands aren’t required to list their product ingredients. Let’s find out the environmental impact of regular period care:
What are period care products made of?
Regular tampons are made of either cotton or a blend of cotton and rayon.
Did you know cotton is known as the world’s ‘dirtiest crop’? This is because 16% of the world’s insecticides and 10% of the world’s pesticides are used to grow it. These pesticides have huge impacts on farmers, marine life, waterways and more. Firstly, the residue from the pesticides pollutes waterways. When this comes into contact with marine life it has life-threatening results. On top of this, animals and locals who depend on this water source suffer the effects of pesticide poisoning. A HUGE 77 MILLION people suffer the effects of pesticides poisoning each year.
Cotton is the most heavily sprayed crop. The impact this has on the farmers who cultivate this land is devastatingly huge. The World Health Organisation reports that the chemical spraying of conventional cotton results in 20,000 deaths a year. Shocking, right? And something we don’t tend to think about.
What is rayon? Rayon is a man-made fibre created from wood pulp. The process of extraction is energy intensive and uses excessive amounts of water. It also wastes a crazy 50% of the tree! Deforestation is an environmental issue we can all help to avoid and swapping your period care can be a step in the right direction. Avoiding the use of wood pulp can be a huge step towards combating deforestation.
Plastic pollution is having a devastating impact on the planet. It is predicted that by 2050, there could be more plastic than fish in the sea. This is crazy, but unfortunately true. There are many ways to reduce plastic waste. You could, for example, take your own bags to supermarkets and ditch plastic straws. But what about period care? Each mainstream pad can contain the equivalent of FOUR plastic carrier bags. But this doesn’t leave tampons out. The majority of compact app tampons use a plastic applicator. This single-use plastic is a huge contributing factor to plastic pollution.
Plastic takes a minimum of 400 years to breakdown. This means every plastic applicator, wrapper and pad you have ever used is still in landfill and will be for many, many years.
Why is this different from organic?
Organic cotton is an eco-friendlier choice, as it respects the natural environment. Organic farming uses less water during production, fewer pesticides, and more sustainable practice. It also aims to protect wildlife and farmer’s health.
This is why at TOTM we only use GOTS certified organic cotton which is naturally biodegradable. Our pads are wrapped in biofilm (biodegradable and compostable) and our tampons have cardboard applicators in place of plastic! We also deliver TOTM products (which are packaging in cardboard boxes) in sugarcane packaging. This is a renewable source and is also recyclable. Know what’s in your period care. Take power over your period and be #PeriodPowerful.
You can also switch to reusable alternatives such as a menstrual cup. This is a bigger cost upfront but can be re-used for many years so saves you a lot of money in the long run!