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7,296 Plastic Bags of Waste Per Person Generated by Non-Organic Period Products

Research from Yoppie, the pioneers of personalised, organic period care delivered through your letterbox, has revealed the staggering amount of plastic waste that results from the use of non-organic period care products each and every year.

Yoppie is on a mission to reduce the plastic waste created through period care products using 100% certified organic cotton products that are eco-friendly, biodegradable and ethically manufactured.

Yoppie’s research shows that the average pack of non-organic sanitary pads contains 2.4g of plastic per pad and a further 2.5g within the packaging itself. That’s the equivalent of five plastic bags for every pack of sanitary pads.

With the average person using around 30 pads per cycle, that’s 72g of plastic based on the pads alone.

Over their lifetime, a person will have approximately 456-period cycles and in one year alone will generate 864g of plastic waste, climbing to a huge 32.8kgs during a lifetime of use.

The average plastic bag weighs 4.5 grams, meaning the average person will generate the equivalent of 192 plastic bags in plastic waste in one year using non-organic sanitary pads. A lifetime of use will see a whopping 7,296 plastic bags worth of plastic waste generated by using non-organic sanitary pads.

However, it isn’t just the environment that non-organic products can harm, many also contain potentially harmful chemicals that can be bad for our bodies.

Non-organic tampons alone can potentially contain carbon disulfide, toluene and m,p-Xylene which are reproductive toxicants. Methyl ethyl ketone, ethyl acetate and heptane which can cause irritation. Hexane which is a neurotoxin, as well as methylene chloride which is carcinogenic.

Many non-organic tampons have also been bleached with chlorine to get their perfect white appearance, as well as the cotton being sprayed with pesticides and artificial fragrances and attached to their string using glue. Of course, many tampons also come with a plastic applicator and packaging which also adds to plastic waste.

Non-organic pads also contain harmful chemicals and hazardous ingredients which can include dioxins and furans, pesticide residues, unknown fragrance chemicals, and also adhesive chemicals such as methyldibromo glutaronitrile. All of which brings risks of cancer, reproductive harm and even allergic reactions.

Founder of Yoppie, Daniella Peri, commented:

“January can be a tough time for all of us, particularly given the current backdrop of Covid and yet another national lockdown. However, if there’s one thing we would urge women not to neglect, it’s the quality of their period care.

So much plastic waste is generated due to the use of non-organic products largely due to the fact they’re seen as the most convenient option and are often the cheapest products on the shelf.

However, by making a very small change and opting for organic period products, we can make a considerable difference where our personal level of plastic waste is concerned. Not only does it help the environment, but it’s also good for our bodies which is another positive change to kick off 2021 with.”

Description

Data Point

Notes

Plastic waste per pad (approx g)

2.4

 

Number of pads per cycle

30

 

Plastic per cycle (approx g)

72

Plastic waste per pad x number of pads per cycle

Annual period cycles (approx)

12

 

Annual pad plastic waste (approx g)

864

Plastic per cycle x 12

Lifetime period cycles (approx)

456

 

Lifetime pad plastic waste (approx g)

32,832

Plastic per cycle x 456

Average weight of limited use plastic bag

4.5g

 

Annual pad to plastic bag equivalent use

192

Annual pad plastic waste / average weight of a plastic bag

Lifetime pad to plastic bag equivalent use

7,296

Lifetime pad plastic waste / average weight of a plastic bag

 

Potential chemicals in tampons and their dangers

Chemical

Dangers

Carbon disulfide

Reproductive toxicant

Methylene chloride

Carcinogen

Methyl ethyl ketone

Irritant

Ethyl acetate

Irritant

m,p-Xylene

Neurotoxin, repro toxicant

Heptane

Skin irritant, neurotoxin

Hexane

Neurotoxin

Toluene

Reproductive toxicant

Source

Womens Voice

Chlorine

Natural cotton is not perfectly white, so some tampons are bleached with chlorine to achieve the correct clean white look. However, chlorine can break down to dioxin - one of the most persistent and toxic chemicals

Rayon

Many tampons are made of rayon - a man-made fabric blended from cotton, wood pulp, and other synthetic fibres.

Pesticides

Tampons made from non-organic cotton, they will have likely been sprayed with pesticides

Fragrance

Artificial (chemical) scents are often used to make the product smell nice or as an odour neutraliser

Plastic compounds

Some tampons come with applicators, others are wrapped in individual plastic casing. This aims to stop the fibres shedding in the packaging before they are used. However, these plastic applicators or casings are often made of polyester, polypropylene, or polyethylene - the same compounds used to make a plastic bag

Glues

The string used to remove the tampon is sometimes attached to the tampon using glue/adhesives. Also, in the case of braided designs a polyester or polypropylene material may be used.

Source

The Sun

 

Potential chemicals in sanitary products - and their dangers

Product

Potential chemicals

Dangers and risks

Links

Tampons

Chemical and hazardous ingredients can include dioxins and furans (from the chlorine bleaching process), pesticide residues, as well as unknown fragrance chemicals

Dangers and risks include cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and more visible issues such as allergic rash or irritation

link

link

link

link

Pads

Chemical and hazardous ingredients can include dioxins and furans, pesticide residues, unknown fragrance chemicals, and also adhesive chemicals such as methyldibromo glutaronitrile

Dangers and risks include cancer, reproductive harm, endocrine disruption, and more visible issues such as allergic rash or irritation

link

link

link

link

Feminine Wipes

Chemical and hazardous ingredients may include methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, parabens, quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, Triclosan, as well as unknown fragrance chemicals

Dangers and risks include cancer and endocrine disruption. Some studies also link wipe use to allergic rash and irritation

link

link

link

link

Feminine Wash

Chemical and hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, and DMDM hydantoin.

Dangers and risks include endocrine disruption, allergic rash, and even asthma.

link

link

link

link

Feminine Deodorant

Chemical and hazardous ingredients may include unknown fragrance chemicals, parabens, and benzethonium chloride

Dangers and risks include reproductive harm, endocrine disruption and allergic rash.

link

link

link

link

 

Source: https://yoppie.com/

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