Did you know? Conventional sanitary pads are roughly 90% plastic!
Natracare is different. Our products are made from renewable, biodegradable and compostable materials including organic cotton, bioplastics (made from plant starches) and wood pulp. And by choosing plastic-free sanitary products, you’ll have two positive impacts on the environment:
1. Reducing plastic production
The extraction, production and manufacture of plastics releases large amounts of toxic pollution into the environment. Ozone depleting gases such as Nitrogen oxide, Sulphur dioxide and Carbon dioxide contribute to global warming, acidification of trees and are human toxins affecting our health. All Natracare products are sustainably sourced and processed in a gentle way which does not release toxic chemicals into the environment.
2. Reducing plastic waste
Every year, over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are disposed of somewhere.
Sanitary waste is either incinerated, releasing harmful gasses and toxic waste, or sent to landfill. The plastics used in sanitary pads, liners and tampon applicators do not biodegrade at all, and will remain in the environment unchanged for hundreds of years. Waste will often be picked up by birds, or blown across land and into streams, ending up in the oceans. Marine wildlife is at serious risk from plastic pollution, as animals eat the plastic thinking it is food. What’s more, plankton eat microscopic fragments of plastic and transfer it all the way back up the food chain – even on to your plate.
Natracare products are biodegradable – and can even be composted!
It’s best to dispose of your Natracare products in a domestic compost bin, as it minimises the carbon emissions as the product breaks down. If you send them to landfill, the conditions of the site will determine how optimally they biodegrade – the right temperature, soil conditions and bacteria. This also applies to any waste food sent to landfill, so be carbon smart and compost!
Using high quality natural materials makes Natracare products extremely soft on your skin, and because they are biodegradable, gentle on the planet too.
Natracare products are free from all ingredients commonly found in conventional feminine hygiene products; plastics, polyacrylate superabsorbents, petroleum derivatives, synthetic ingredients, latex and perfumes.
Instead we use certified organic 100% cotton and sustainably-sourced natural, plant based materials. These natural ingredients are highly effective in locking away menstrual fluid and the absence of synthetic materials ensures your skin is able to breathe and stay dry.
Natracare wipes are free from synthetics, petroleum derivatives, alcohol, parabens, formaldehyde and phenoxyethanol, many of which have been linked to skin irritation.
Our products are made with everyone in mind, including animals, birds, bees and insects. Natracare founder, Susie Hewson, is a vegetarian and supporter of PETA, so it’s no surprise that we do everything possible to protect wildlife. You can rest assured that all Natracare products are:
- Free from animal testing. Neither the raw materials nor the finished products are ever tested on animals. Dermatological testing is always conducted on human volunteers under controlled procedures.
- Free from all animal ingredients, or raw materials processed with any animal products
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians, with certification from the Vegetarian Society
- Looking after wildlife in the fields where cotton is grown. It’s estimated that pesticides kill 67 million birds each year in the USA alone, so by choosing organic you protect wildlife from the damaging effects of these toxic chemicals.
Try this test at home with most brands of tampons and you might notice the fibres coming off from the tampon after just a few minutes. This is because normally tampons are made with a mix of rayon and pesticide-sprayed cotton. Rayon fibres are short and straight and can easily slide apart from each other, shedding into the vagina during use.
Apart from the hygiene issues of fibres remaining in the vagina, there are also implications for bacterial colonisation which can contribute to vaginal infections. Rayon in tampons has also been linked with Toxic Shock Syndrome.
Natracare does not have an issue with fibre loss as our tampons, including the string, are made from only 100% organic cotton, a wavy-construction fibre that easily interlocks.
Natracare championed the issue of fibre loss back in the 1990’s as a result of concerns raised both by users of tampons and nurses. Nurses conducting smear tests reported having to remove shed tampon fibres from around the cervix before being able to obtain a clear smear sample.
Manufacturers, who at first denied the fibre loss issue, quickly placed a synthetic overwrap material around their tampons to prevent the inner absorbent core of fibres falling away. The choice of material, a plastic called polypropylene, is heated to melt the overwrap and form a seal over the tampon core. This reduced some of the fibre loss, but did not eradicate it. On top of this, polypropylene is made from crude oil and does not biodegrade, ultimately damaging the environment.
Click on the picture below to find out what's in your tampon.
When Susie Hewson developed Natracare in the 1980s, she spent years researching the very best raw materials for the job. As well as important health considerations and ensuring that the products worked, Susie endeavoured to find materials that were:
- ethical – protecting the livelihood, homes and health of workers and communities where crops are made
- environmental – looking after the soil, water and air and ensuring low carbon dependency
- animal-friendly – not disrupting the habitats or health of animals, birds, bees and insects who make up ecosystems that are crucial for our planet’s wellbeing.
Using certified organic cotton and accredited sustainable forestry ensures that Natracare meets high sustainable standards.