Disposable nappies and incontinence pads are the third largest consumer item in landfills representing 30% of non-biodegradable consumer waste, according to The Eco Shop, with 187 billion nappies and pads being thrown away each year in the UK alone.
Studies indicate that a single incontinence pad or nappy can take up to 400 years to decompose after entering landfill, and with over one billion incontinence products purchased in the UK every year, it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The disposal alternative is incineration; however, this contributes severely to air pollution and damages our ecosystem significantly. We’ve put together some sustainable alternatives for you to try!
Reusable Incontinence Pads
With a large range of patterns, colours, sizes and shapes, reusable pads are available from just about any health care shop on the high street. You can buy pads for any kind of flow or severity of bladder problem, this easy guide from Honour Your Flow allows customers to shop by ‘weak bladder rating’ which can be very helpful when shopping around for what type of pad you need.
These reusable pads from My Little Eco Shop are discreet, highly absorbent and 100% eco friendly. They use soft and breathable cotton to create a more comfortable, skin-friendly experience which is less likely to cause skin reactions in comparison to other synthetic feminine care products. If taken care of properly, these pads can last for years. They also have a range of sizes, patterns and types of pads on their website so you’re sure to find something to suit your needs.
Washable Bladder Control Underwear
Another great option is switching the disposable nappies for a more sustainable AND stylish option in the form of reusable incontinence underwear. This ultimate pee protection kit from Cheeky Wipes contains all the essentials to make the swap from disposable to reusable; complete with flannel wipes, washable bags, pads and si sets of underwear – what’s not to like?
Reusable underwear can be reused for years if washed and taken care of carefully. Although the initial payment may be higher, the money, time and excess waste you’d keep out of landfill make them a worthwhile investment. By making the switch to reusable nappies and underwear, you’re helping to keep millions of disposable feminine products out of landfill as well as helping to improve your own health by staying away from some of the nasty chemicals used in the production of pads, tampons and nappies.