‘Sustainable’, ‘plant-based’, ‘conscious living’. It is pretty hard to avoid all things no plastic at the minute. But when it comes to our periods, what is the deal? Are we just helping the planet by reducing our usage of plastic products or are there also health benefits we can stand to gain? We catch up with leading plastic-free period brand TOTM to chat the who what, how and why?
THE PLASTIC FACTS ON PERIOD CARE
A staggering 90% of each conventional menstrual product is plastic. And each sanitary pad contains the equivalent of about four plastic bags. FOUR! Our natural cycles should not equal unnatural plastic period care.”
Typical period care currently take 450+ years to break down and therefore have a prolonged negative impact on the planet. In addition to this, with 200,000 tonnes of sanitary products being sent to landfill every year, our period care that we often so rarely think about is causing a huge disruption to the environment.
Conventional tampons have been found to contain non-organic cotton and rayon. Non-organic cotton is farmed using toxic pesticides and insecticides (in fact, it’s the most heavily sprayed crop on the planet).
BUT WHAT ABOUT THE HEALTH FACTS?
Switching to organic cotton period care products not only will help your bit in playing kind to the planet, it also will stand to make a big difference to not only your comfort but in places, your health.
CUTTING OUT THE CHEMICALS
Who knew that your typical period care contains synthetic materials, such as rayon. These have been treated with pesticides, chloride bleach and gelling agents to increase absorbency. I mean really? Not only that but they are FULL of fragrances and other chemicals.
All of these additives have potential links to adverse effects. BPA is an industrial chemical. It is used in the manufacture of certain plastics and resins, including some sanitary protection. The chemical has been associated with health issues such as increased blood pressure. This is due to possible effects on the brain and behaviour.” Anne Henderson – Gynaecologist
Organic cotton period care products have a natural softness not present in typical synthetic based products. So needless to say, your monthly spot will be far more comfortable to wear in those days of discomfort and irritation. Lets face it, we all know how irritating a period is at the best of time, surely we want to be a little kinder to our vaginas?
“organic cotton period care products have a natural softness which is not present in synthetic fabric. It is extremely comfortable to wear in the delicate vaginal and vulval areas. Organic cotton is both highly absorbent and breathable and keeps the delicate skin drier and free from irritation than synthetic alternatives”. Anne Henderson, Gynaecologist.
Plastic actually in cases contains hormone-disrupting chemicals. Phthalates are present in soft plastics and are known to affect testosterone and oestrogen hormones. When they enter your body, they alter levels of testosterone and thus your bone strength, energy levels and sex drive. And nobody wants that right?
Freshen up honey, freshen up! Many conventional pads and period care contain fragrance, deodorants and perfumes,all in the bid to help you keep fresh. However, fragrance is still a chemical, one that can cause itching, irritation and soreness. Fragrance can also alter the vaginal pH balance. This increases the likelihood of you developing infections, UTIs and bacterial vaginosis. Itching – no thank you!
SO HOW CAN WE MAKE A CHANGE?
TOTM is a innovative new start up period care company changing the conversation around periods, plastics and more.
They provide a range of organic cotton period care AND reusable menstrual cups all made with GOTS certified organic cotton. They do not contain fragrance/perfumes, dyes, rayon, wood pulp or chlorine bleach. They avoid plastic whenever possible in the range, their tampon applicators are cardboard, and they wrap their pads in compostable and biodegradable biofilm.
To find out more about the power you can have with your period for the planet as well as to your health, head to TOTM for more information on their product range and period – powerful information hub.