From Jessica LeFebre, member of the Creation Care Team at COS:
This week’s sustainability tip is an important one for everyone, however, it is only relevant to half of the population. Disposable feminine hygiene products. On average, a woman will use roughly 11,000 disposable products in her lifetime (some studies suggest more). Most tampons being made are 90% plastic and not biodegradable. Once used they are considered medical waste and are therefore unable to be recycled. Feminine hygiene products are the fifth most common plastic waste found in our oceans. Not only are these ecological effects scary, but the effect of using plastic on a women’s body can be damaging. The chemicals and fragrances used in these products can be carcinogens, hormone disrupters, and reproductive toxicants. What are the alternatives to this? There are many great reusable options that contain safer materials.
· Menstrual cups- These have gained a lot of popularity in recent years. They can last up to ten years (which saves a lot of money) are comfortable and most are made with medical grade silicone.
· reusable menstrual pads-These can last several years and are mostly made from organic cotton and small amount of polyurethane laminate and micromodal fabrics to aid in absorption. (compared to rayon this is a more sustainable option).
· Period underwear-Often made from the same material as reusable menstrual pads. These can be washed, reused, and are made in a wide variety of styles.
Sparks, Tori. What’s the Environmental Impact of Your Period?, Barcelona Metropolitan