Hi! Welcome to my blog. I’m so excited to be talking about having a more sustainable period today. This post is a paid partnership with Natracare, a brand who has changed the game with compostable period products since the 80s. Reusable period options such as cups can’t be used by everyone and if disposables are the right choice for you & your body, then I really think that Natracare is the best option!
Related: 10 Easy Low-Waste Bathroom Swaps
The Problem with Plastic in our Period Products
Scarily, 90% of standard menstrual pads are made from plastic, as well as a tampon’s applicator & string. There are 2 main places that this plastic will end up…
Landfill: Plastic can take over 450 years to break down in landfill. Over the course of their lifetime, someone who has periods uses 11,000 products on average. You can imagine the immense waste that’s built up each year. Even if they do break down, it’s only into smaller pieces called secondary microplastics which still have an effect on our wildlife and soil.
The Ocean: It’s estimated that almost 1.5 billion sanitary products are flushed down the toilet every year in the UK. The Marine Societies research shows that for every 100m of British beach, there are 4 pads and a tampon that have washed up. It’s important to remember that this is only the impact we can see – and that there are much worse things going on under the surface. Over time, due to the sun and the waves, large plastics break down into those pesky microplastics I mentioned earlier. Marine life is severely impacted by these, 90% of seabirds and 1 in 2 turtles have plastic in their stomachs.
What You Need To Know About Chemicals In Period Products
Along with plastic, standard pads contain a bunch of chemicals and unnecessary components. Gels made from crude-oil are used to increase absorption, chlorine is used to bleach the products and synthetic perfumes and dyes are used.
Some chemicals (dioxins & furans) that are frequently used in the conventional bleaching method are carcinogenic. There is a bleaching method which uses chlorine compounds instead of chlorine gas (the gas method is where the chemicals are) however it still creates POPs. POPs are Persistent organic pollutants which are also known as ‘forever chemicals’ as they don’t degrade.
The type of cotton used is also important. Cotton is a natural material so it makes sense to assume that it’s good for us and the environment. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. It’s a thirsty plant, often grown by workers on low pay and with many chemicals such as pesticides. I went into more detail in my Everything You Need To Know About Organic Cotton post, but the low-down is that organic cotton is much better than it’s traditionally grown alternative.
Why You Should Choose Natracare Over Standard, Disposable Period Products
So, now we’ve chatted a bit about the harmful impacts of standard disposable period products on the environment, I wanted to introduce you to my sponsors for this post – Natracare. They are a brand who is giving us an amazing alternative to the polluting period products.
Just a little side note: as I mentioned before, not everyone can use reusable menstrual options and there should be no guilt or eco-shame in that! Your health and wellbeing comes first and you need to do what is best for your body.
Natracare products are plastic free, chlorine free, perfume free, vegan, compostable and biodegradable, certified organic and they donate 1% of their return to charity via 1 Percent for the Planet.
I was particularly interested in the biodegradability and compostability of the products and you really can compost their products in your garden’s compost bin. Since their products are plastic-free and made with natural materials, you can chop/break up the items and then pop them in your compost bin. They take around 12 months to biodegrade but the recommended time is 18-24 months just to be safe.
You can find Natracare in Waitrose or online on Ocado, Ethical Superstore & Amazon if you’re in the UK. For those in the USA, try Wholefoods or Amazon. If you’re elsewhere – don’t worry, you can check out the entire list of stockists here. The prices are from £1.50 – £3 depending on which product you’re buying.
If you have any questions about sustainable periods, Natracare or anything else mentioned here then let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer! How do you have a sustainable period? Have you tried Natracare? I would love to know in the comments!
Check out Natracare…