When it comes to plastic, there’s plenty of ‘P’s to be thinking about: polyethylene, polypropylene, polymers and more. But one that often gets overlooked is periods. We’ve been talking to Natracare about the shocking hidden plastics and chemicals in conventional period products. If you’re joining our mission to go green in 2019, switching to an organic and natural period solution is a great place to start.
How to have a plastic-free period
How did Natracare start?
Natracare was born in 1989 when Susie Hewson learnt of the growing danger to human health and the environment from the chlorine bleaching of paper and cotton products.
Menstrual product companies weren’t the least bit concerned with protecting the environment or developing the best products for women’s health – predictably, they were only interested in profit, leading Susie to take matters into her own hands.
She set up the business from scratch – researching and developing the products herself. Now, 30 years later, Natracare products are sold in over 80 countries across the world.
What makes Natracare a greener choice?
Natracare products don’t contain any plastic and are completely biodegradable. In fact, most of them are compostable with your curbside collection!
Other period products have plastic overwrapping and contain super absorbent polymers (the blue stuff in pads that locks the blood in), which are similar to plastic and don’t biodegrade.
Natracare products are made from ingredients like 100% organic cotton and wood pulp – so they won’t leave a lasting mark on the planet for years after they have been used.
Why is it important to choose organic and natural period solutions?
Your vagina is one of the most absorbent parts of the human body. It’s important that any products that come into contact with it aren’t full of pesticides. Our products are made from organic and natural ingredients. They aren’t bleached with chlorine and they are free from the dangerous pesticide residues found in non-organic products.
The chemical herbicide, glyphosate, which is used by Monstano in their Roundup Ready sprays, was found in 85% of conventional tampons and pads across the world by the University of La Plata in Argentina. In 2015 the World Health Organisation deemed glyphosate to be a ‘probable carcinogen’.
While these chemicals are found at low levels in conventional products, women use an average of 11,000 menstrual products in her lifetime. That’s a lot of opportunity for chemical build-up.
Organic cotton isn’t sprayed with dangerous chemical herbicides and pesticides so there’s no risk of these chemicals ending up in your body if you choose Natracare!
Do you have any tips for people looking to go green in 2019?
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Small changes over time can make a massive difference. Imagine if everybody was making small changes to their plastic consumption, or their diet, or their shopping habits? These things create huge cultural shifts.
Our top tip is to plan ahead. Waste – particularly plastic waste - tends to come along with convenience and last-minute choices made on the go.
Perhaps pack a little plastic-waste busting kit with you when you go out. Include reusable cutlery, a reusable coffee cup, a tupperware box, a cotton bag, a water flask… this way you’ll never be caught out.
Planning ahead works well when trying to eat consciously too. It’s easy to pick up a cheese and pickle sandwich from the shop when you’re hungry and you’ve only got half an hour for your lunch break. But if you build some time into your week to consider what you might like to eat, you can bulk cook delicious, plant-based soups, chillies, curries… they can be cheap, tasty, filling and much better for animals and the environment. A little goes a long way!