Plastic in Menstrual Hygiene
The first pad you used is still decomposing somewhere and will continue to do so for another 300 years. With this in mind, let's do the math: on average, a menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, 5 of which you are bleeding. If your flow is normal, you may need to use 4 to 6 pads or tampons for each day of bleeding. This equals 20 to 30 per cycle. Women bleed every month for about 40 years, which means 480 cycles. This will mean between 9,600 and 14,400 pads or tampons breaking down and polluting our planet. Now multiply that by every woman who uses disposable feminine hygiene products... the result is a BIG pile of garbage. Tons and tons of plastics, chemicals, bleaching liquids and synthetic fibers becoming highly polluting waste for the environment (and we're not even considering applicators or pantyliners).
Why do we overlook such overwhelming numbers?
Although the problem of plastic in feminine hygiene is exorbitant, it is easy to ignore it because once we change the pad or tampon the inconvenience is over, that’s how far our selfish and utilitarian concern goes. That's it, a technical stop in the bathroom and good to go. We don't have to wonder where these products will go, do we? Let's see, let's do a little exercise: imagine that every time you changed your pad you couldn't get rid magically, but instead you had to leave it at home until it disappeared itself. After a certain time, the situation would become unbearable, indeed, ask yourself if you would even last a day. Wouldn't you do your best to stop using disposable pads? Well, on a large scale, this planet is your home. Just because you corner your used pads where you can't see them (or rather, someone put them there for you) doesn't mean they're gone. They are still there, think about this for a moment: EVERY SINGLE pad you've used is still there, somewhere in the world. So why do you continue to pollute your home?
There's simply no excuse these days. The alternatives are getting better and more varied. In today's market you can find everything from leak-proof underwear and reusable cloth pads, to organic and biodegradable tampons, sea sponges, and of course, the menstrual cup. So if you want to get out of the question saying: "Biodegradable pads and tampons are much more expensive", "I don't know how to use the cup" or "I don’t trust absorbent panties" we are worse off than we thought.
First of all, you can sacrifice a couple of beers a month and invest in biodegradable products. If the question is a little more complex because you are hesitant or don't know how to use some of these products, then just TRY. Don't rule out options because at first glance you don't know how they work or they seem a little strange to you. Get a little uncomfortable and make an effort to stop generating so much rubbish, what's the worst that can happen?
Alternatives to plastic in feminine hygiene
As you know, it is a reusable product that fits perfectly to the vaginal walls collecting the menstrual flow. Thanks to its funnel shape it is able to hold more blood than other methods such as tampons or pads. When the cup is full you must take it out, empty it and put it back in. If you want to know more about the menstrual cup, click here. If you already know all the benefits of this wonderful alternative and the only thing left is for you to buy it, you can purchase it in our store by clicking here.
Organic pads and tampons
They work exactly like regular pads or tampons, but they are made of organic cotton and don’t contain chemicals such as chlorine or dioxin. They also don’t contain perfumes or other toxic substances. Aura offers you several alternatives according to your needs. To see them all, click here.
These are normal underwear but with several absorbent and antibacterial layers so that they prevent odors. It provides you with an alternative to pantyliners or pads. These panties are reusable and chemical-free. To wash them you can put them in water first and then put them in the washing machine with the rest of your clothes.
Like synthetic sponges, they have super absorbent properties. To use the sponge, you have to moisten it and then insert it into the vagina, like a tampon. Remove it every few hours, clean it with neutral soap and water, and it is ready to be inserted again. It is important to make sure that the sponge you buy has been collected using sustainable fishing methods.
They are a very good alternative to normal pads and can be changed as often as you need. You can get them in different sizes and levels of absorption. Just like the leakproof panties, you should rinse them before putting them in the washing machine.
You already know a few alternatives to traditional pads and tampons. It's time to take action. Think about how you use hundreds of plastic products every day. How many of those can you replace with less polluting alternatives? Now that you know, don't let those you use as part of your feminine hygiene continue to be a problem. It's a matter of acting more consciously and, of course, spreading the word!
The European Union and single-use plastics
Although as consumers we have an obvious responsibility, we know that the problem of plastic is also an issue that must be addressed by the companies that produce it. In 2019, the European Union adopted a decree to ban single-use plastics, but the list of products to be disposed of doesn’t include any concerning feminine hygiene.
This is absurd when we consider that a large part of pads and tampons are made from plastic. The European Parliament knows this, but has limited itself to demanding that disposable feminine hygiene products provide "clear and legible information" on how to dispose of waste, on its negative environmental impact and on the presence of plastics in them. Why do these products always "deserve" a separate chapter? Why do we always have to fight for our rights and well-being as women? Perhaps in a more equitable society, pads and tampons would be the first products on the list, because not only they pollute the planet horribly, they also are harmful to our health.
Microplastics in your vagina
As we have said, both regular pads and tampons are made of substances that are very harmful to our bodies. A single traditional tampon can contain hundreds of petroleum-based compounds. Every time you get your period you condemn your vagina to absorbing considerable amounts of chemicals for hours which then stay inside you in the form of micro plastics and fibers... and you still wonder why your intimate area gets irritated every now and then. Not surprisingly, about 20% of the time women go to the gynecologist for unexpected reasons is because they experience episodes of vulvar vaginal irritation.
The industry recognizes this problem and has started to produce cotton pads and tampons, however, many of them still have chemical compounds that will continue to unbalance your vaginal flora. You should be well informed every time you purchase any of these products because until now there are no regulations requiring manufacturers to say what exactly their tampons or pads are made of. This not only violates our rights as consumers but also endangers our well-being as women. This is why Aura makes sure to only work with hygiene products made of certified organic cotton, free of pesticide or herbicide residues and, of course, 100% biodegradable. If you want to know more about the brands and products we offer, click here.
For the planet and for you
Stop using disposable pads and tampons, you've already seen that you have plenty of alternatives. The industry needs to feel pressured if we want to see a real change and the best way to do that is to stop using these products. Say NO to plastic in feminine hygiene, choose organic, biodegradable or reusable alternatives. Be more compassionate with your vagina, your body and the planet. If you don't know where to start, visit our online store to find the best options for your feminine hygiene needs.