Yes. Similar to diapers, sanitary pads take a very long time to biodegrade. However, there are some more eco-friendly options that can be used. LunaPads, which are washable cloth pads, are reusable and therefore much better for the environment.
Feminine products are generally made to be used once, which is understandable due to hygenic issues. Another great alternative is the Diva Cup, a reusable menstural cup, which can be purchased at locations such as Whole Foods.
Just to add to the other answers, tampons with lots of extra packaging are bad for the environment as well. OB is a good company to use since their packaging is minimal and they don’t use cardboard applicators, creating a LOT less waste.
The amount of waste produced by sanitary pads and tampons are vast. Over 12 billion pads and tampons are disposed of yearly and they usually end up in landfills. Additionally, according to the Center for Disease Control, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along US coastal areas between 1998 and 1999. As stated in other answers, there are alternatives to single use pads and tampons. Products such as the Keeper are reusable cups that can be used during menstruation to reduce waste.
Yes, pads have quite a large impact on the environment since the majority of them are made of plastic and may never biodegrade. Burning the pads can be harmful to the environment as well, since many of them contain chlorine-bleached material.
Adding to lorena’s comment about tampon applicators, using tampons with paper packaging (such as Tampax) is better than using those with plastic packaging and applicators (like Kotex). OB is also a good brand because they don’t have applicators, and though they are wrapped in plastic, the wrapper is small.
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