What's the difference between disposable sanitary products (pads & tampons) & reusable sanitary products (cotton pads, menstrual cups & period panties)?
Disposables pads are made of 90% plastic. A menstruating person discards approximately 11,000 disposable pads & tampons over a lifetime. Reusables can last for years before needing replacement.
Disposable pads & tampons have been flushed down toilets or discarded hazardously causing clogs to water systems.
Cost-wise, disposables bind users to a monthly purchase. Reusables may have a higher upfront investment but over the long run, do not incur cost until replacement is required. This could be helpful in solving period poverty .
Disposables need to replaced often as they can harbour bacteria and humidity. Menstrual cups can stay in for longer with less risk of bacterial growth.
There are plenty of options for reusable products to suit one's comfort & needs. Disposable sanitary products are undoubtedly convenient as one can simply wrap up & forget them. But the waste goes somewhere, usually in landfills or incinerators. A little washing that saves money & the planet is a step worth taking, no?