Eco-Friendly Menstrual Products: A Sustainable Approach to Periods

Sustainable period products

Beyond the personal and physiological aspects, this universal experience has an often-overlooked dimension: its environmental footprint

An average woman uses approximately 11,400 pads or tampons throughout her lifetime. And while the average period might last a week, the products used don’t vanish so quickly. 

Most menstrual products are made from plastic and are non-biodegradable. According to a study, these Menstrual products generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste annually and can take up to 500-800 years to decompose.

This isn’t just a challenge; it’s a call to action. But as awareness grows, innovative and eco-friendly alternatives are emerging. In this article, we’ll discuss some sustainable menstrual products, their benefits and debunk common misconceptions.

Types of Eco-Friendly Period Products

Eco-friendly menstrual products are made from natural, renewable, and compostable period materials. By making the switch to these sustainable menstrual products, you not only reduce your individual environmental footprint but also ensure that your period care is in harmony with our planet.

Reusable Pads

Reusable pads are usually made from bamboo, organic cotton or hemp, making them environmentally friendly period products. They also last longer than disposables — up to 5 years — and have a much lower environmental impact.

Menstrual Cups


Menstrual cups are a revolutionary alternative to tampons. They’re usually made with medical-grade silicone, latex, or elastomer, which is non-toxic and long-lasting. They can be worn for up to 12 hours, offering a hassle-free experience. They maintain the natural pH of the vagina, minimizing the risk of infections or TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome).

Period Underwear

Period underwears are an innovative and sustainable alternative to pads and tampons. These panties are designed with layers of absorbent textile technology and materials like microfiber, organic cotton, and moisture-wicking fabrics. With proper care, period underwear can serve its purpose for 2 to 3 years and comes in varying absorbencies, from light to heavy flow, catering to individual needs.

Organic/Biodegradable Options

Organic or biodegradable menstrual products are not only safer for the environment but also more comfortable. Made with certified organic cotton, these pads and tampons are hypoallergenic, free of synthetic materials, fragrances, and potentially harmful chemicals.

These eco-friendly alternatives take 6 months to decompose, compared to 500 years for traditional pads and tampons.

Positive Environmental Impacts of Sustainable Menstrual Products

  • Lower carbon footprint: Sustainable alternatives, particularly those made of organic materials, often have a lower carbon footprint due to eco-friendly manufacturing and reduced transport frequencies. 
  • Conservation of resources: Reusable and biodegradable products, on the other hand, minimize this consumption, leading to more efficient use of our planet’s resources.
  • Reduced plastic pollution: Sustainable menstrual products, like plastic-free applicators or made from organic materials, directly combat the rising issue of plastic pollution. 

Key Takeaways

Our choices have ripples that extend far beyond our immediate surroundings. By choosing sustainable menstrual products, we’re not only investing in our personal health but also casting a vote for a healthier planet. Embracing greener and eco-friendly options represents more than a personal choice; it’s a collective step toward a brighter, more sustainable future.

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