Have you ever wondered what upcycling is and whether it has ever been applied to how compostable pads are made?
Keep reading to find out the process we use to transform waste into compostable pads, and what the difference is between compostable and biodegradable menstrual pads.
The Art of Upcycling
Upcycling sounds pretty similar to recycling, but it has an important distinction. Recycling involves breaking down waste, or by-products, to create something new.
Upcycling, as the name implies, involves transforming by-products (that would otherwise be trash) into products of higher quality or value.
This is as much of an art as it is a science, as it requires creative thinking to find ways to maximize the reuse of products and minimize waste. And that’s just what we’ve done at Aruna to transform waste into compostable pads that are healthy for your body and the environment.
How We Use Local Food and Crop By-Products to Create Our Aruna Pads
With lots of research and a little creativity combined with a determination to create a more earth-friendly menstrual product, we have developed a way to transform waste into compostable pads. Here’s how eco-friendly sanitary pads are made:
According to a 2019 report from Value Chain Management International (VCMI), an estimated 20% of all the food produced in Canada per year becomes avoidable food loss or waste, with much of it going to landfills. We contribute to a circular economy by collecting this to transform waste into compostable pads.
Biodegradable materials are any material that can be broken down naturally by bacteria or other organisms. To ensure that our menstrual pads can be fully broken down and not add to the waste problem, we need to make sure any of the waste we use to create them is separated from non-biodegradable materials and contaminants such as dirt, debris, and residues.
Before we can shape food and crop waste into menstrual pad form, we need to process it using methods like heating, grinding, and shredding. All the sorted and cleaned waste is combined before we extract natural fibers from it.
The next step in transforming waste into compostable pads is to process fibers into different layers that maximize function. This involves designing layers meant to promote thermoregulation, absorbance, and more. We create the base of the pad by combining fibers with other natural absorbent materials such as bamboo. To be fully compostable, these other materials are organic.
We mentioned that upcycling is an art! This fun last step involves putting the finishing touches on our compostable menstrual pads using environmentally friendly and sustainable dyes for our packaging.
The Benefits of Aruna Revolution Health Menstrual pads
We’ve already seen how we transform waste into compostable pads, but let’s take a look at what the benefits of these menstrual pads are. Upcycling is in itself a benefit for the environment because we use food and crop by-products that would otherwise go to a landfill and produce the greenhouse gas methane, which is even worse for the environment than carbon dioxide.
By repurposing these by-products for pads, we extend the life of these materials by incorporating them into a more valuable product composed completely of plant materials that helps menstruators manage their periods. We are also proud to use only locally sourced Canadian materials to produce our compostable menstrual pads.
By taking control of the manufacturing process, we are able to create a menstrual pad that is better for your body because they are free from ingredients commonly found in conventional menstrual pads and tampons, including chlorine, bleach, paraffin, synthetic fragrances, dioxin, cotton, and plastic.
Finally, our compostable menstrual pads are better for the environment than both conventional pads and biodegradable pads. While biodegradable pads break down eventually, there is no guarantee that they will break down into something that is good for the environment. Our compostable pads break down sooner while also releasing vital nutrients into the soil that contribute to new life.
FAQs About How to Transform Waste into Compostable Pads
How are compostable pads made?
Compostable pads are made using organic plant-based ingredients such as food by-products. We’ve described the process Aruna uses to transform waste into compostable pads above.
Can sanitary pads be composted?
Only if they are made from organic materials and designed to be composted! Aruna’s sanitary pads can be composted both at home or in an industrial facility if you have access to one.
How can we decompose sanitary pads?
How you decompose sanitary pads will depend on whether it is biodegradable or compostable. The manufacturer should specify whether it must be industrially composted or not. Aruna’s pads can be decomposed using industrial composting, depending on municipal guidelines, and also at home in your own compost pile.
What are the ingredients in biodegradable pads?
Biodegradable pad materials could be any materials that eventually break down in the environment, including some types of biodegradable plastics.
What is the difference between biodegradable and compostable pads?
These terms are often confused since they both involve something breaking down. Biodegradable pads are pads that can be broken down by microorganisms such as bacteria. However, though biodegradable pads can be broken down, it doesn’t mean it will break down into something good for the environment (and can sometimes even be bad).
Compostable pads, on the other hand, are pads that are made only from organic materials that release nutrients back into the soil as they break down. Any material that is compostable is also biodegradable, but the reverse is not true.
Final Thoughts on Aruna’s Upcycling Approach
Now you know how our compostable pads are made and what the difference is between biodegradable and compostable pads. Knowing that, why settle for just biodegradable when you can have a compostable menstrual pad too? Get on the waitlist for Aruna’s 100% compostable pads and be the first to know when this exciting upcycled product launches.