You may be familiar with labels like “biodegradable” and “compostable” on various household products, but what do these terms mean?
Are they more eco-friendly than their alternatives without these labels?
Let’s first explore the difference between “biodegradable” and “compostable” products. Then, we’ll investigate if cotton pads are biodegradable and good for the environment.
Biodegradable and compostable are often used interchangeably, but there is a world of difference between these two concepts.
Anything biodegradable will break down quickly and safely, which means anything plant-based, animal-based or natural mineral based.
But that doesn’t mean it’ll break down quickly, as these products can break down at different rates depending on the original material and how much it has been processed.
Beyond plants, biodegradable objects can include papers, boxes, bags, and other items - all created with the ability to slowly break down until they’re consumed on a microscopic level.
Compostable products can break down completely into natural elements in the right conditions. The natural breakdown of these products leaves no harm to the environment, unlike biodegradable products which sometimes produce chemical residues.
According to the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), compostables are anything that undergoes degradation by biological processes during composting to yield carbon dioxide (CO2), water, inorganic compounds and biomass at a rate consistent with other compostable materials and leaves no visible, distinguishable or toxic residue.
For a product to fully break down, it could take up to 90 days.
What Are Cotton Pads?
Cotton menstrual pads come in different shapes, sizes, and absorbency levels to accommodate different flow patterns and individual preferences.
They typically have snaps or wings designed to be secured to the underwear and provide a comfortable fit during wear.
Once used, they should be rinsed or soaked in cold water to remove excess blood and prevent stains. Throw them in the machine with mild detergent and dry them in a low heat setting.
These pads are made of soft, absorbent cotton fibres and have gentle touch on the skin. They are also more cost-effective in the long run and can be used for several years with proper care.
Finally, using a reusable cotton pad can dramatically reduce landfill waste.
Are Cotton Pads Biodegradable?
Cotton pads are generally biodegradable, as cotton is a natural fibre that can break down and decompose over time.
However, it’s important to consider that some cotton pads may contain additional materials or chemicals that can affect their biodegradability.
If you’re looking for the #1 eco-friendly option, opt for pure cotton pads made from 100% natural cotton fibre without synthetic additives.
Are Cotton Pads Good for the Environment?
Although cotton is a natural resource, making it more sustainable than synthetic alternatives, it’s not the most ideal for the environment.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), cotton is the most widespread and profitable non-food crop in the world.
Cotton cultivation severely degrades soil quality with the application of fertilizers and pesticides. Opting for organic cotton pads can minimize the negative impact of conventional cotton production.
How Aruna Revolution Health Empowers Menstruators With Compostable Menstrual Pads
If you want an eco-friendly sanitary pad, turn to Aruna Revolution Health. Our sanitary pads are 100% compostable, thanks to being crafted from innovative plant-based materials.
And now that you know the difference between compostable and biodegradable, you can make the best choices for you during your time of month.