Menstruation is a monthly process in which the female body sheds the unfertilized “egg” (ova or ovum) and the lining of the uterus. The process is normal and occurs painlessly to many of the women. The menstruation process may be stressful and requires the maintenance of hygiene as depicted by UNICEF 

The process requires the use of sanitary pads , panty liners and tampons. The period also constant cleanliness to avoid infections and comfort. According to a report by the cosmopolitan , a healthy woman can use a minimum of 2 pad or tampons per day. This means that during the 3-5 day period of menstruation, women will use over 20 pieces of products that will end up being disposed or incinerated.

Why are sanitary pads and tampons bad for the environment?

Menstrual hygiene is a factor that affects almost half of the world’s population, which is made up of women.  Every month , the female population uses millillions of tonnes in plastics embedded in their menstrual care products.

In light of making pads and tampons as more comfortable and discrete, they are packaged in plastic covered contraptions that single use. Furthermore, to avoid leaks, sanitary pads are made of a base comprising of polypropylene or polyethylene , which are non recyclable.

Notwithstanding, sanitary  pads and tampons pose environmental hazards as they are take over 5 centuries to decompose when dumped into the environment.

In some instances, sanitary products are incinerated after use, the incineration produces harmful fumes that pollute the environment.

However, menstrual cups are seemingly the future proof sanitary products that will help reduce the negative impact on the environment.

What are  Menstrual Cups made of?

Menstrual cups are “cup-like” apparatuses that are inserted in the vagina to act as “reservoirs” for the lining and other fluids. Most of the cups available in  the market are made from flexible , “body friendly” materials that allow them to be used for as long as 12 hours.

An example of a Menstrual Cup
An example of a Menstrual Cup

Some of the menstrual cups , such as the OrganiCup have incorporated green approaches to ensure their products are made from environmentally friendly materials. OrganiCup is also distributed using “plastic-free” packaging.

How to use Menstrual Cups

Menstrual Cups basically act as containers for all the contents that would have been absorbed by a tampon or pad. They are inserted and can hold upto five times more volume than a sanitary towel. Here is a demonstration of how they are used and inserted.

Benefits of using Menstrual Cups

Menstrual Cups have numerous benefits to the user. Not only are they comfortable, hygienic and less disruptive of one’s routine, they offer the most viable solution to the plastic pollution pandemic.

Menstrual cups will reduce the carbon emissions that occur during incineration. Furthermore, since the cups can be used for years, less plastic will be deposited in the environment.

Reusing menstrual cups is the answer to environmental degradation. Period. 🙂