“Use ‘Em and Lose ‘Em:” Disposal Practices and the Environment

From the earliest days, the appeal of disposable menstrual products derived from the fact that they could be easily and discreetly discarded. Companies trained women who had access to plumbing to flush pads and tampons away.  By the 1970s, however, it became clear that flushing feminine hygiene products had contributed to the contamination of waterways and shorelines, while pads disposed in landfills (like the disposable diapers that used the same materials) no longer degraded. This pollution seems to be leading more women to return to reusable products to manage their menstrual flow.


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