Feminine hygiene and the environment – Natracare

Every year over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of. It takes approximately 500 years for a pad to break down into tiny pieces in a landfill site, and once made these tiny pieces will never go away.

Over 90% of a sanitary pad is made of plastic; the rest is made from chlorine-bleached wood pulp.

The impact on our environment of making the absorbent core of a pad is massive. Forests are chopped down to source the wood and the wood pulp is bleached with chlorine, then to add to this crude oil plastics are used.

We are rightly concerned about the billions of plastic shopping bags given away daily, but by using plastic laden feminine hygiene products, each year we add the equivalent of 180 billion plastic bags to our waste stream.

According to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, 80% of the plastic floating in our oceans comes from land as waste. It passes through filters and enters our streams, rivers, oceans and the stomachs of birds, fishes and other wildlife. If plastic is burnt in an incinerator, it will release dioxin into the air that we all breathe, and will eventually pollute the water we drink and the soil that we depend on to grow food.

What can we do to protect our environment?

The answer must be to use biodegradable plastics made from GM free plant material, using wood from ecologically managed forests and responsibly processing materials with only sustainable and environmentally safe chemicals.

Natracare has gained environmental (1) and ethical awards (2) for producing plastic and chlorine free feminine hygiene products made from ecologically sourced, renewable and biodegradable materials that significantly lessen the environmental impact of sanitary products on our planet.

 (1) Natracare’s environmental claims are scientifically validated and independently accredited by an International Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). The EPD conducts a full lifecycle analysis, measuring the total amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted from raw material extraction to manufacture, including transport as well as the disposal stages.

Natracare is the first feminine hygiene company in the world to achieve an EPD and demonstrate that their carbon footprint is very low. In addition to this, the products have a USDA Biobased Approval, Vegetarian Society Approval, the highest Ethical Company Organisation accreditation for feminine hygiene and hold Nordic Ecolabel certification and LOHAS awards.

(2)Susie Hewson, the founder and developer of Natracare recently received the prestigious Women in Ethical Business Award for her work and commitment to ecological and ethical solutions in business and was one of 4 finalists of the 2011 Veuve Cliquot Business Woman of the Year awards.

Natracare is available in over 56 countries around the world. The range includes Maxi and Ultra pads with and without wings; Organic cotton tampons with and without applicators, four styles of panty liner as well as organic cotton wipes. All products are widely distributed and are competitively priced without literally costing the Earth.

Visit our website for further information.

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