Environmental Impact of Period Products

menstrual cups in India

About 26% of the global population menstruates, which accounts for about 800 million people menstruating every day. Despite menstruation being a common bodily phenomenon, access to clean water, sanitation facilities, proper menstrual products and menstrual awareness is a global concern.

Plastic has pervaded modern life and menstrual products are no exception. On average, about 10,000 disposable sanitary products end up in the ocean and harm marine life or they end up in landfills. Unlike the menstrual cups in India, sanitary pads and tampons are widely available and lack of access to these cups harms the environment in atrocious ways. Don’t believe us? Dive into this guide to find out!


Why Are Pads and Tampons Unsustainable?

Do you know that conventional sanitary pads are made from 90% plastic? Undoubtedly, brands have been relentlessly trying to cut down on the plastic content, but ranging from the leak-proof base layer to the synthetics in the pad used to soak up the menstrual fluid and the plastic packaging, everything is a menace to the environment.

Can you believe that even the upper layer that feels and looks like fabric is usually a plastic woven sheet? Pads are typically made from products called SAPs or Super absorbent polymers that can hold large quantities of liquid. As SAPs are made from sodium polyacrylate, they are non-biodegradable. In addition, the bleach and synthetic material present in the pad can also be toxic to the pH of your intimate area.

On the other hand, tampons are wrapped in plastics made from low-density polyethene. Typically, the applicator and string in the tampons are made from plastic and sometimes the tampons also contain a super thin layer of plastic. Even if you get eco-friendly tampons, they have a layer of polyester or polypropylene to make them stronger so that you can pull your tampon in one piece after you use it.


The solution

Although it is tough to say are tampons or pads worse for the environment, there is no dissenting that both of them contain large amounts of plastic. When pads and tampons are flushed they pollute the water streams or contribute to landfill waste. On the other hand, menstrual cups or reusable period cups are a great alternative to using something good for the environment. Whether we are talking about how cost-effective they are or how they are convenient to use while being leak-proof, reusable menstrual cups are a thousand times better than pads from the environment as well as the consumer’s point of view.

In addition, menstrual cups are made from medical grade silicone and they don’t cause itching or irritation in your intimate area as well because they are free from toxins and bleaches. You can have a more comfortable and safer period without worrying about the perils of disposable sanitary products.



Most women start their menstrual hygiene journey with phrases on search engines like “menstrual cup where to buy” or how to use a menstrual cup in India. The problem lies at the grassroot-level because women aren’t educated about their basic sanitary needs. Whether it is about a menstrual cup where to buy or the usage of reusable period cups, women must be educated about this from the start while providing them access to suitable period management methods.

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