As garbage patches have been found in the oceans, and landfills are reaching capacity, it is clear that single-use products are enemies of environmental consciousness and sustainability.
Disposable sanitary pads and tampons for women who are menstruating are examples of personal hygiene products that frequently employ single-use plastic, which is one of the most polluting materials in the world. One Danish startup, LastObject, is working to end the disposable industry by providing reusable alternatives to items like tampons and sanitary napkins. This new company’s next big thing is an improved menstrual pad.
LastObject’s first reusable item, a cotton swab, was released in 2019. The popularity of menstruation cups, which can be sterilised and used again and again, has skyrocketed in recent years.
Environmentalists have been pushing businesses for years to find permanent alternatives to disposable plastics, and the result has been the rise in popularity of period underwear. These briefs can be washed and reused after absorbing blood. The new design from the startup, called LastPad, is made of antibacterial and breathable polyester and incorporates innovative features including the company’s patented SmartCover.
The bottom layer serves to prevent leaks, while the middle layer is crafted from bamboo cloth. According to FastCompany, developing the pad took two years. Furthermore, governments pushing for plastic alternatives, notably in Europe, are projected to promote the development of a plethora of similar ideas in the health and hygiene industry.
Reports indicate that LastPad successfully raised money on Kickstarter within hours of the project’s listing going live. Polluting the environment with plastics that are only good for one use is a global problem. In the United States, some 50 billion tampons and pads of a single use are discarded annually.
The problem is even more severe in China, where 140 billion or more pads are thrown away every year. Although just 20% of Indian women use sanitary pads, these reusable options allow more women have access to health and hygiene services.
This percentage rises to 52% in major cities. Use of unclean methods of period care has been linked to a variety of health issues. Approaches that can be reused are the wave of the future.