4 Surprising Ways Menstrual Care is Destroying the Planet (And How You Can Fix It!)

4 Surprising Ways Menstrual Care is Destroying the Planet (And How You Can Fix It!)

Posted by Team joni on

Traditional menstrual care practices have unintended consequences for our planet, but there's hope yet. Let's explore some surprising negative impacts of menstrual care and how you can turn them into positive actions.


1. Plastic Pandemic: The Dark Side of Disposable Products


Traditional pads and tampons have a big environmental impact and are major contributors to the plastic pollution crisis. These disposable products often contain layers of plastic and synthetic materials that take centuries to break down. As a result, they accumulate in landfills and contribute to ocean pollution.


Positive take: Eco-friendly options like biodegradable pads and tampons offer a sustainable solution. Made from natural materials like organic cotton and bamboo, they break down naturally, reducing environmental harm.

biodegradable bamboo regular pad with compostable wrapper


2. Toxic Time Bombs: The Chemicals Hiding in Your "Feminine Hygiene"


It's not just the environmental impact we need to worry about; traditional menstrual products can also pose risks to our health. Conventional menstrual products often contain a cocktail of harmful chemicals and endocrine-disrupting additives, including chlorine, dioxins, fragrance chemicals, and various synthetic materials.


Chlorine, commonly used in the bleaching process of menstrual products, can release harmful dioxins, known carcinogens, into the environment. Moreover, prolonged exposure to these chemicals has been linked to reproductive and hormonal disorders, allergic reactions, and skin irritations.


But the environmental impact doesn't stop there. The production and disposal of these chemical-laden products contribute to pollution and environmental degradation. From the manufacturing process to their eventual breakdown in landfills, these toxins seep into the soil and waterways, posing risks to ecosystems and wildlife.


Positive take: Organic menstrual products made from natural, pesticide-free materials and tested for toxic chemicals are becoming more mainstream. Not only are they safer for you, but they also minimize harm to the planet.


3. Landfill Overload: The Mounting Waste Crisis


It's no secret that disposable menstrual products contribute to the burden of waste in landfills. The sheer volume of these products, combined with their slow decomposition rate, exacerbates environmental degradation. However, there's a simple solution at hand.


Positive take: Embrace reusable menstrual products like menstrual cups or cloth pads. Not only do they significantly reduce waste generation, but they also save you money in the long run. Reusable products, however, are not for everyone nor are they always convenient. Instead, when it comes to disposable period care, choose biodegradable and compostable options. joni period care for one works just as good (if not better) than mainstream plastic disposable options.

joni's applicator free digital tampon box and super tampoon on blue background


4. Period Poverty: The Inequity of Access to Menstrual Care


In addition to the environmental concerns, menstrual care practices also shed light on social and economic inequalities. Many people worldwide lack access to affordable menstrual products, resulting in what's known as period poverty. This disparity not only exacerbates existing social and economic inequalities but also contributes to environmental challenges. However, there are steps we can take to address this issue and make a positive difference.


Positive take: Supporting menstrual equity initiatives and sustainability can go hand in hand. These initiatives, ranging from grassroots efforts to government programs, aim to ensure universal access to menstrual products regardless of socioeconomic status.


One common approach is donation drives and distribution programs, where individuals and organizations collect and distribute products to communities in need. These initiatives often collaborate with local shelters, schools, and community centers to reach those facing financial barriers.


Advocacy also plays a vital role in raising awareness and advocating for policy changes to implement free or subsidized menstrual product programs in public spaces like schools and workplaces. Push for eco-friendly options. Everyone has the right to safe and sustainable period care.


Hope Ahead

three smiling women in their underwear smile with eco-friendly period care packages


While the negative impacts of traditional menstrual care practices may seem daunting, there are numerous positive steps we can take to mitigate harm and promote sustainability. By making informed choices and embracing eco-friendly alternatives, we can turn the tide and ensure a healthier planet for generations to come.