Menstrual Products and the Environment

The Eco-Friendliness of Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups offer a simpler, healthier and eco-friendly way to deal with your period. These handy silicone cups last longer than other menstrual products (like pads and tampons), saving you both money and the frustration of always making sure you're stocked up on feminine hygiene products.

Easy to use, and quite durable, you can go up to 12 hours without changing them, and the cups themselves can last up to a decade. In addition to saving you money, menstrual cups can also ease your impact on the environment, a big concern for us women that want to make a positive impact on our planet.

The eco-friendliness of menstrual cups is a major determining factor for many women, and given the current state of our global footprint, every little bit helps to make the world that much better for the generations to come.

Menstrual Products – What a Waste

If you're like most women, you've probably been a little dismayed (or even ashamed) by all the trash you create during your monthly period.

And while such a little thing might not seem like a big deal, it adds up fast. For example, you have to consider:

  • The packaging of your pads or tampons
  • The tampon applicator; and
  • The used tampons or pads themselves.

Not to mention the gas you used to drive to and from the store, and the paper receipts or plastic bags. Before you know it, something as simple as your monthly visitor turns into a trash can full of waste and a carbon footprint you wish you could have avoided.

What Kind of Impact are We Really Talking About here?

Most women menstruate once per month for about 40 years. If you use 20 tampons per cycle, that adds up to more than 9,000 tampons over the course of your lifetime. There are 3.5 billion women on the planet.

We're not going to do the math, partly because who likes math, and partly because the number is SO LARGE that it makes our head hurt.

In North America alone, landfills end up with 20 billion menstrual products each year. But it's more than just landfills that are impacted. In one day, more than 27,000 used tampons and applicators were collected from beaches around the world. Tampons are not able to be recycled since they contain human waste, and many women flush them instead of throwing them away, which is one of the ways they end up in waterways in the first place.

There's also the issue that once these products are in the landfill, they don't break down. Even organic cotton tampons break down slowly. Plastic tampon applicators can take hundreds of years to break down.

More Than Just Waste: A Manufacturing Nightmare

There's also the issue of what goes into making disposable tampons and pads in the first place. Pads have polyethylene plastic, which is in the adhesive used to make pads to stick to your panties. Polyethylene plastic is a harmful pollutant, and toxic chemicals are used during the manufacturing process.

Cotton, which is used in the production of tampons, is a very water-intensive crop. The process of manufacturing cotton fibers from wood pulp also involves significant resources and chemicals. Non-organic cotton is used in most tampons, and it may have been exposed to insecticides and pesticides. Additionally, tampons have been found to contain dioxin. Dioxin is a carcinogen, and as the tampons break down, the dioxin is released into the environment. Dioxin is considered to be highly toxic, and it's banned in many countries.

They also contain chlorine, which is also a pollutant. A bigger issue, though, is that manufacturers are not required to list the exact ingredients in their tampons. This is because they are classified as medical devices and not as personal care products. It's difficult to know exactly what's in tampons, making using them a bit worrisome.

Environmental Benefits of Silicone

Medical-grade silicone is the primary ingredient in most menstrual cups. This makes menstrual cups long-lasting, and durable, while so being eco-friendly. This means you can use them for years with proper care.

But the benefits of silicone go beyond durability. When silicone breaks done, it degrades to silica, which is non-hazardous. Silicone also has a good safety record and is a proven safe alternative to plastics, which are some of the most notorious pollutants around.

Better for Your Body Too

Once you learn about all the toxins and chemicals associated with using disposable menstrual products, you may want to keep them as far away from your body as possible. And who could blame you? Something you probably grew up believing was safe, has turned into a chemical-laced, synthetic convenience that may actually be doing more harm than good.

On the other hand, menstrual cups from Daisy Cups are 100% non-toxic. In addition to not exposing you to chemicals, they also reduce your exposure to TSS. They don't dry out your vagina or change your vaginal pH, and they're good for your personal environment as well as the planet.

Not to mention they'll save you a fortune in what you likely currently spend on monthly tampons and pads.

Reducing Your Footprint – We all do our part

If reducing your environmental impact is important to you, menstrual cups provide an eco-friendly alternative to traditional feminine products that are filling up our landfills and contaminating our waterways and beaches by the ton. In addition to the waste created by using disposable menstrual products, the entire process of producing the items, shipping the items, and packaging them also has a significant impact on the environment.

Finding ways to improve your impact on the environment can be a challenge. Getting a hybrid car can be expensive. Installing solar panels can also be costly and out of reach for most consumers. But there are simpler alternatives that each of us can take part in to play our role in making a difference.

Menstrual cups offer a simple, inexpensive way to improve your environmental footprint. Although the initial cost may seem high when compared to a box of tampons or pads, over time you save money since you don't have to replace menstrual cups each month.

Menstrual cups are good for the environment, good for your body, and good for your wallet. Once you get used to using your cup, you'll be glad you made the switch and will never look back.