The Environmental Impact of Disposable Menstrual Products
Environmental Impact of Disposable Menstrual Products
It takes one pad 500 years to decompose. The plastic applicators in tampons also are harmful to the environment. In the US, 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are thrown out each year. Additionally it takes high amounts of energy to manufacture the plastics in these products. Marine life can also be harmed via the plastic byproducts of these items as much of it actually ends up in oceans. They can also end up in sewers and/or get consumed by animals.
It may seem like a small issue, using a few tampons/pads each month, but the cumulative effects of using disposable plastic period products over the course of a lifetime is monumental. On average, menstruators dispose of around 330 lbs of waste during a lifetime of menstruation. Over 20 billion pounds of plastic waste is thrown out globally each year via period products.
Heralogie uses as many sustainable materials as possible to manufacture and package our products. The mailers are made of Kraft paper, a biodegradable and natural material. The other paper packaging in our products are made from recycled materials. The “plastic” bag that the period panties come in is biodegradable and made from cornstarch. The “body,” or the largest piece of fabric in all styles is made from Tencel, a sustainably sourced fabric made from beechwood trees. It is also known as Lenzing Modal and is created under strict guidelines to ensure sustainability. 95% of the chemicals used in processing Tencel is recycled, and the company Lenzing is as energy conscious as possible when manufacturing its products. The top layer of the gusset (crotch/absorbent area) is made from organic cotton. The bottom layer is made from eco-friendly TPU, a heat-processed fabric that ensures waterproofness.
Although there is no perfect solution for being 100% environmentally friendly in the manufacturing any product, we do our best as a small business and hope the compounding effects of our customers using our products will do the Earth good in the long run.