For the eagle eyed of you, if you buy our products from within the EU you may have spotted a new “Plastic in Product” label on some of our packaging. This may sound suspicious, especially considering how we pride ourselves on our eco-credentials and guide people on how to spot greenwashing. But there’s no need to be alarmed. Choosing Natracare still cuts plastic pollution during your period. Read on to find out more about the “Plastic In Product” label on Natracare products.
What is the Single Use Plastics Directive (SUPD)?
SUPD stands for Single Use Plastics Directive. It’s a directive introduced by the European Union in 2021 for all brands selling in the EU to disclose if there’s any sort of plastic (whether it’s plant or oil based) in their products – including disposable menstrual products, like us!
But you have the plastic free certification?
That’s right. Our pads and liners are 100% free from oil-based plastics and they, along with our tampons, are certified Plastic Free by the Control Union. The plastic we use for our pads and liners is plant-based and made from natural materials. It’s also compostable! All Natracare pads and panty liners are commercially compostable to EN 13432 and it is also possible to compost them at home.
Certified compostable plastics can break down safely into non-harmful organic matter after use. Bio plastics like this are the only plastic materials we use in our products.
Oil-based and non-compostable plant-based plastics are what you need to be wary of and it can be difficult to tell them apart. They leave permanent damage to our earth by taking 500+ years to break down.
Then why do Natracare products need the “Plastic In Product” logo?
While our products are free from oil-based plastics and non-compostable plastics, SUPD requires all types of plastic to be labelled without differentiation:
- Petroleum oil-based plastics
- Plant-based and part-renewable plastics
- Compostable plastics
We use a compostable bio plastic (also called bio polymer) for the leak-proof layer on the back of our pads and liners. This is made from GM-free plant starch, is a renewable resource, and makes use of by-products from agriculture. SUPD doesn’t recognise the differences between plastics, so we are required to display the plastic in product logo for our pads and liners despite using a more sustainable material than found in most period products.
The word ‘plastic’ (even in the context of compostable) feels, understandably, untrustworthy. However, the plastic referred to in Natracare’s case is a renewable resource that is far less damaging to the earth than most plastics.
Natracare products are classed as part of the circular economy, meaning: our pads and liners can break down into organic matter and return to soil when composted in the right way.
Biodegradable and Compostable Pads
Natracare period products are free of oil-based plastics and plant-based plastics that will not biodegrade.
Why we support SUPD
We’re a proud pioneer in creating period products without oil-based plastics and it’s time to move away from our reliance on damaging and polluting materials and products.
Unfortunately, there is still a lot of greenwashing out there – even from brands that seem reliable. Many companies peddle vague messages of sustainability and eco-credentials and this exactly the case for period products! The period products industry has no obligation for brands to fully list their ingredients, and where “plant-based” plastics (that aren’t compostable) are often used.
This new EU directive empowers you to be in control of your plastic footprint as you’ll know whether the brands you’re using are using plastic that will permanently damage our planet.
From the materials to the processes, as a brand we pride ourselves on being completely transparent with our consumers. The SUPD logo is on our packaging so we can continue to be completely transparent with you.
Our pads and liners will never contain petroleum or oil-based plastics. If you’ve bought and used them, and still do so, rest assured nothing has changed. Our products are completely the same and are completely biodegradable and compostable. Let us know if you have any comments or concerns.