The Environmental Impact of Sanitary Waste: How to Minimise and Manage It
Menstrual products like sanitary pads and tampons often go unnoticed for their significant environmental impact. The considerable waste generated by these products, combined with their composition of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials, contributes to environmental pollution and poses a threat to marine life. At Envirotec Hygiene Services, we understand the importance of managing sanitary waste responsibly to prevent environmental damage. In this blog post, we will explore the environmental impact of menstrual waste and discuss ways to minimise and manage it effectively.
Understanding the Environmental Impact
In their lifetime, women typically use over 11,000 disposable menstrual products. In the UK alone, an estimated 1.8 million women aged 15 and above used 25 or more menstrual towels per month in 2016.
The environmental impact of sanitary waste is significant. Around 200,000 tonnes of waste are generated each year from the disposal of single-use menstrual products, including tampons, pads, and applicators. Most menstrual pads are made from 90% plastic, which takes up to a thousand years to decompose in landfills or in the ocean. Additionally, flushing tampons away has led to an estimated 1.5-2 billion menstrual items being flushed down Britain’s toilets each year, contributing to sewer blockages and environmental pollution.
What are the consequences?
Unfortunately, the environmental consequences of menstrual waste are alarming. Approximately 8.5% of Britain’s beach rubbish consists of sewage-related debris, which include sanitary products. In 2017 alone, 18,050 pieces of menstrual waste were found on UK beaches. The presence of plastic and other chemicals in these products put marine wildlife at risk, leading to the tragic loss of up to 1 million seabirds, 100,000 marine mammals, turtles, and countless fish each year.
Moreover, the health effects of plastic and chemicals in menstrual products cannot be overlooked. Sanitary pads and tampons, which are made predominantly from plastic, may contain chlorine and dioxin, known to be toxic substances. Traces of pesticides, insecticides, and even glyphosate (a probable carcinogen) have also been found in tampons, posing potential health risks to users.
So, how do we minimise and manage sanitary waste?
To minimise the environmental impact of sanitary waste, we can make conscious choices. Here are some strategies to consider:
🌟Choose eco-friendly alternatives: Opt for reusable menstrual products such as menstrual cups, period underwear, or reusable pads. These options significantly reduce waste and have a lower carbon footprint.
🌟Dispose of single-use products responsibly: If you must use single-use products, make sure to dispose of them in the bin instead of flushing them. At Envirotec, we provide sanitary bins with volumes of 20 or 15 litres to help you dispose of your products responsibly. Our team offers prompt and efficient sanitary bin collection, ensuring proper and safe disposal of your waste, preventing pollution and reducing the strain on sewage systems.
🌟Look for eco-friendly options: Seek out organic and biodegradable menstrual products. Some all-cotton tampons and pads are compostable, but be sure to check with the manufacturer for specific details.
🌟Support sustainable initiatives: Look for companies that prioritise sustainability in their production processes, such as us at Envirotec. By choosing our services, you can rely on our commitment to using environmentally friendly practices, including vegetable-based dyes and minimal packaging. We also offset carbon costs by supporting sustainability projects.
🌟Advocate for change: Raise awareness about the environmental impact of sanitary waste and advocate for accessible and affordable eco-friendly options. Support initiatives that promote menstrual product affordability for individuals with low or fixed incomes.
Sanitary waste poses a significant environmental challenge, with plastic pollution and harmful chemicals affecting our ecosystems. At Envirotec Hygiene Services, we offer sanitary waste management solutions to help you manage your sanitary waste effectively and prevent environmental damage. Our sanitary bin collection and disposal services ensure that your staff have the right facilities, while relieving you of the burden of waste management.
By choosing us, you can have peace of mind knowing that we provide prompt and efficient solutions that won’t disrupt your daily operations. Our team can arrange a convenient collection date with you, and we’ll take care of the picking up and disposing of your waste properly and safely. Together, we can make a difference in minimising the environmental impact of sanitary waste.
Contact us today to take action and make eco-friendly choices for a cleaner and healthier planet.