Photo by Vanessa Ramirez on

The problem with menstruation products

pink menstrual cup in box
Photo by Vanessa Ramirez on


Adelle Engmann



In the course of a lifetime, the average woman will have 450 menstrual cycles and use more than 11,000 feminine products, according to a Bustle article. However, the usage of disposable tampons and pads are affecting the environment.

In 2015, the Ocean Conservancy collected almost 28 thousand used tampons and applicators on beaches worldwide in a single day. Billions of these products are disposed of each year.

Most pads and tampons are made up of non-biodegradable materials that are toxic to the environment. These menstrual products include non-organic cotton that contains chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides that the World Health Organization has linked to reproductive problems and cancer.  

Pads contain polyethylene, a plastic that makes the product stick to undergarments.

According to HuffPost, one package of pads is equivalent to four plastic bags. Tampons contain harmful chemicals as well. When the product is disposed of as waste in landfills, those chemicals get released into the air as pollution.

There are many solutions to prevent these menstruation products from negatively affecting the environment.

Menstrual cups are one alternative to disposable pads and tampons. This product is reusable and made of medical-grade silicone. It can be worn for up to 12 hours. There are many tutorials on how to insert, remove and clean menstrual cups for beginners. Visit for step-by-step instructions and a video on how to use a menstrual cup.

Additionally, there is absorbing underwear which is similar to a pad or tampon, using leak-resistant materials. This is also a reusable product. Visit for more information on this underwear and to purchase them.

If using pads and tampons are a necessity, try and utilize organic menstrual products that include cotton with non-toxic chemicals added in the product. Tampax created a line of pure organic pads and tampons available at

Another menstrual product company, LOLA, created 100% organic feminine products. LOLA also donates millions of their products to shelters and facilities to people of low-income. Visit for more information.

Athena Club is another company that sells organic tampons, plastic applicator free. See for testimonies and products.

A quick and easy way to keep the environment free of these harmful feminine products is to not flush them down the toilet. This solution will quickly reduce the amount of these products found in the sewer systems and oceans and overall improve the quality of air.

Advocating for more plastic-free products is another effective solution. 

Menstruation is a natural part of a woman’s life. By using organic and reusable products, people can lower the risk of health problems and environmental impacts.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning news media of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2018. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube @thepuyalluppost

Adelle Engmann

The problem with menstruation products

by Adelle Engmann time to read: 2 min