Biodegradable vs. Compostable Menstrual Pads: What’s the Difference?

Biodegradable vs. Compostable Menstrual Pads: What’s the Difference?


With the state that the world’s climate is in now, we need to take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves and everyone around us about the environment and what actions we can take  to protect it. Chances are that you’ve come across compostable products and biodegradable products  in the past and as a conscious menstruator you might wonder, can pads be compostable too? 

Keep reading to understand the difference between biodegradable and compostable and find out whether compostable menstrual pads really exist.

By Definition, are Compostable and Biodegradable Products the Same?

It’s common to see labels that include ‘biodegradable’ and ‘compostable’ on a variety of household products, and you probably associate both these terms with being more eco-friendly relative to products that don’t have these labels. But what exactly does it mean to be biodegradable vs. compostable? In other words, is compostable and biodegradable the same? The short answer is no! 

What Does “Biodegradable” Mean?

When something is biodegradable, it means it can be broken down by bacteria or other living organisms in the right conditions. However, the time it takes to decompose may vary from a few months to thousands of years, so it’s important not to assume something is automatically the most environmentally friendly option just because it’s labelled as biodegradable. 

Another thing to consider is that although biodegradable products can be decomposed in a natural environment, they may still leave chemical residues and don’t offer any benefits to the soil.

Read more: Period Syncing: Real or Fake?

What Does “Compostable” Mean?

The key difference between compostable and biodegradable products is that compostable items release nutrients into the soil when they break down, which is beneficial to plants and other organisms. For something to be compostable, it must be made from organic materials that can be naturally broken down to produce non-toxic components that help the environment rather than harm it. 

Some products are designated as home compostable, meaning you can simply throw them into your garden compost, and they will break down. Others are commercially compostable, meaning they should be disposed of in specific compost facilities that create the ideal conditions for decomposition.

Can Sanitary Pads be Compostable? And What That Means for the Environment

If you’re wondering, ‘are pads compostable?’, the answer is that most are not. The truth is that most sanitary pads are not so friendly for the environment- at least not conventional ones that contain plastics. Most pads are made using super-absorbent polymers and plastic liners, neither of which are compostable.

However, it is possible for pads to be compostable. The materials used to make them need to be plant-based so that they break down naturally to contribute helpful nutrients that fertilize plants and improve soil health. This could include natural fibres like cornstarch and banana leaves . A large-scale shift to compostable menstrual pads would mean less monthly menstrual waste adding to our already overflowing landfills. 

Luckily, there are some organizations committed to making compostable products available to create a more sustainable future. One such group is us,  Aruna Revolution Health. We’re  a team that is on a mission to make compostable menstrual pads the norm and not the exception. 

Read more about Why Aruna Menstrual Pads are Bleach, Plastic, Chlorine, and Fragrance-Free and Uncovering the Truth About Environmentally Not-So-Friendly Cotton Pads and Bamboo Menstrual Pads for more information.

How Our Team at Aruna Revolution Health Empowers Menstruators with Compostable Menstrual Pads

Many of us are searching for ways to limit our impact on our environment, and for menstruators that includes finding an eco-friendlier version of sanitary pads. It’s about time we added sanitary pads to the list of compostable products available! The team at Aruna Revolution Health creates compostable menstrual pads for environmentally conscious menstruators. 

Our sanitary pads are 100% compostable, thanks to being crafted from innovative plant-based materials. Finally, you have a sanitary pad option that is safe for both you and the planet. 

Now that you know the difference between biodegradable vs. compostable sanitary pads, you are empowered to make more informed choices when it comes to choosing how you manage your monthly period.

Anyway, Aruna Revolution offers quality compostable pads. So check it out for yourself to see if is the right fit for you.

Test Your Knowledge: Biodegradable or Compostable?

Bamboo Toothbrushes?


Organic Cotton buds and Qtips replacements?


Reusable wash clothes?

No! at some point you will stop using it and it will go to landfill.


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