How many disposable period products are thrown out each year?

In the US alone more than 12 billion tampons and pads are thrown out every year, and the average person uses 11,000 tampons, pads, and panty liners in their lifetime. It's estimated that, every year, over 45 billion products related to periods, including tampons, pads and applicators, are thrown in the garbage. And tampons make up a large part of that weight. The Ocean Conservancy collected 27,938 used tampons and applicators on beaches around the world in a single day in 2015.

Do disposable period products contribute to global warming?

According to research, one of the largest impacts on global warming is caused by the processing of low density polyethylene (LDPE). It is the same plastic used to make grocery bags, electrical wiring insulation and the popular tampon applicators – even the little plastic strips on the back of pads and liners.

What is the carbon footprint of a period?

A year's worth of disposable period products for a single person leaves a carbon footprint of approximately12lbs of CO2 (5.4kg).

Can tampon applicators be recycled?

Even though most applicators are made from the same kind of plastic used in other recyclable plastics, like bottles, tampon applicators can't be commercially recycled because they have come into contact with bodily fluids. And despite being told not to, many of us flush them away, where they're likely to end up in sewer systems and in waterways. And what about the wrappers that tampons come packaged in? They are not recyclable either. Because of this both the applicator & the wrapper will most likely end up in the ocean. In the ocean they will slowly break apart into microplastics that that marine life usually eats.. What about the actual tampon? They won’t even begin to decompose until years after they end up in landfills.

How can I have a greener period?

Get Reusables - If you are able, ditch tampons altogether and opt for a waste-free option like period panties, menstrual cups or 100% fabric pads. Go Organic - When you have the option, buy 100% organic, all-natural cotton tampons. These alternatives will keep you free from the harmful dyes, chemicals, and fragrances found in conventional tampons. You get serious bonus points if you find options with cardboard applicators. Show Support – stand behind incredible women like Grace Meng and Carolyn Maloney, democratic representatives who have been fighting relentlessly to pass a bill requiring manufacturers to clearly list all ingredients used in their tampons, pads, and other menstrual products on product packaging.

Are there toxins in tampons?

The average tampon still carries trace amounts of dioxin which is a byproduct from the creation of the synthetic fiber, rayon. That’s on top of any pesticides, like diuron, that may have been used to conventionally harvest the cotton. And while some researchers say the amount of dioxin found in a single tampon is not exactly harmful to your health, others argue that considering the average menstruator uses up to 11,000 tampons in their lifetime, adverse health effects can certainly be possible.

Are pads recyclable?

Up to 90 percent of the materials in pads themselves and their packaging are plastics that aren't recyclable. It's been calculated that the environmental impact of one pad is the same as four plastic bags, largely because of the problem of polyethelene, which is notoriously difficult to break down. The plastic liners and fastening materials that are on pads are not biodegradable.