Health / period

The power to have a plastic-free period

By katie button, Wednesday Jul 31, 2019

Bristol-based personal hygiene brand, Natracare, are celebrating their 30th anniversary of producing natural and environmentally friendly feminine hygiene products in 2019.

Despite almost half the world experiencing periods in their lifetime, people who have periods are often uneducated about the effect their period protection has on the body and the environment.

Natracare’s products include plastic-free sanitary wear, flushable wipes and maternity care. All of which are a safe and environmentally friendly alternative to mainstream brands of period care.

Mainstream pads, pantyliners, wipes and tampons often contain harsh chemicals and lots of plastic, which can be harmful to both the user and the planet.

Natracare is an eco-friendly personal hygiene brand based in Bradley Stoke

Founder Susie Hewson launched Natracare in 1989 after finding out about the dangers of the damaging impact of plastics.

After finding that no natural disposable period products existed, Natracare, based in Bradley Stoke, became the world’s first company to produce organic and natural period products.

“30 years of campaigning for and developing environmentally compatible menstrual products, has led to this perfect storm of actions to reduce plastic entering landfills and our oceans,” says Susie.

“Most people who use pads don’t realise that they contain plastic, why would they? Plastic isn’t an absorbent material so you don’t expect it to appear in menstrual products. But there is actually a lot of plastic in most disposable menstrual products.”

As well as being biodegradable and compostable, all of Natracare’s products are perfume and chlorine free, which is typically difficult to ensure due to the bleaching and purification process used to make period products.

Not only are plastic-filled pads not biodegradable but they aren’t breathable either, increasing the risk of irritation. Air flow is essential when you’re wearing something against such sensitive area of the body for up to eight hours at a time.

One box of pads contains as much plastic and five carrier bags

Natracare hope to diminish the taboo surrounding Incontinence in women, developing a range of products which are safe for both the consumer and friendly to the environment.

As well as providing affordable and organic Incontinence care, the company’s primary goal is to start the conversation surrounding bladder issues and create a community for those who experience them.

“We have been campaigning and developing products that support women and protect the environment for over 30 years. This campaign is no different. We need to talk honestly and openly about incontinence,” says Susie.

Using organic and sustainable sanitary products is an affordable and accessible method of becoming more conscious of the impact we have on our planet.

Natracare’s aim is to help people make a small, eco-friendly change by offering a sustainable alternative to main-brand, plastic-filled hygiene products.

“Half of the global population has periods, says Susie. “That’s a massive opportunity to create positive change and move away from brands that choose to pollute rather than protect. Citizens have a powerful voice in the opening of their purses.”

Photos from Natracare’s website. Main photo of Natracare’s founder, Susie Hewson.

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