Just like any other necessity, feminine hygiene products are an absolute necessity for all the women out there. Women across the world have been using feminine hygiene products for a long time. With the advancement in technology, education, and awareness, various companies brought in better, safer, and more comfortable products for menstrual hygiene.

On average, a woman menstruates for about 40 years in her lifetime; the number of products used during this period is about 80,000 to 1 lakh pads/tampons. Regular pads and tampons we come across daily consists of about 80% plastic.  Though these products are necessary, their use leaves behind a lot of plastic waste, which eventually ends up in landfills.

To put an end to this and minimize the plastic usage in feminine hygiene products, various companies across the world have come up with a great alternative. These substituents are eco-friendly, sustainable, and some are reusable. With the advent of technology and sciences, researchers have found various naturally available and eco-friendly fibers that can be used as alternatives to plastic in manufacturing pads and tampons.

If you are looking to go plastic-free and eco-friendly in menstrual hygiene products, here are a few great alternatives. It is time we reduce our carbon footprint by switching to eco-friendly alternatives and make these products available to all.

Bio-degradable Sanitary Napkins

If you are not comfortable using an insertion product, this product is for you. Bio-degradable sanitary napkins have almost zero plastic in them. They use eco-friendly alternatives like bamboo, corn, or banana fibers as absorbents with cotton; they are devoid of all kinds of harmful chemicals and perfumes that make them completely natural. Various Indian start-ups manufacture eco-friendly and bio-degradable sanitary napkins. These pads, including their packaging, are plastic-free.

Reusable Sanitary Napkins

Reusable sanitary napkins are made of cloth lining and have super absorbent material like plant fibers and charcoal. It is a zero-waste product and could be used for several years. It is used exactly like a regular sanitary napkin but, instead of tossing out the used ones, all you have to do is rinse in cold water and wash with separately in your laundry. They come in different colors, and patterns are quite affordable.

Eco-friendly Tampons

Usually, tampons have a plastic layer that acts as an absorbent in them. Eco-friendly tampons are made of plant fibers and organic cotton for better absorption. They do not have any extra chemicals or perfume that reduces the chances of an infection. Moreover, these tampons do not come with plastic applicators. They are available online and at supermarkets.

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups are the most eco-friendly of all the other options. They are affordable and could be used for up to 10 years. These cups are made of medical-grade silicone that is FDA approved. They come in different sizes based on age and other factors such as childbirth, etc., Unlike tampons, they are not absorbent, they collect the menstrual blood; at the end of the day, you have to empty the cup, rinse and use it again. There are a variety of options to choose from, such as brands, sizes, and colors. When you use menstrual cups, you can be as carefree as possible with absolutely no rashes.

These are a few eco-friendly and sustainable options for feminine products. It is time we switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle and try to avoid using single-use plastic in all forms. When more people switch to these sustainable substitutes, they become less expensive and available to all.

Note that, as important as it is to use these eco-friendly substitutes we should also make sure to dispose of them in the right way. Flushing them in toilets will only cause more harm than good. Make sure to wrap them in a disposable cover such as newspapers and dump them in the bin.

Let us make our actions count. Every single step matters.