The plastic problem is no longer something our society can ignore. Single-use plastics are littering our planet. The particles are ending up in the stomachs of sea creatures, and ultimately, making their way into our bodies, too.
More people than ever are becoming environmentally conscious, and they’re turning to brands that appear to be sustainable, to help them form greener habits, such as using less plastic. Profit-driven businesses are learning that they need to appeal to this shift if they want to compete in a changing market. Enter greenwashing:
A recent analysis by Greenpeace Laboratories has revealed the extent of this greenwashing in the tampon industry.
Plant-based plastic applicators
Lots of tampon companies sell tampons that use plastic applicators. Some organic brands do the same, and label their packaging with descriptions of ‘plant-based plastic applicators’.
Greenpeace analysis – what did it reveal?
Greenpeace Research Laboratories conducted testing and found ‘plant-based plastic’ applicators to be chemically identical to oil-based plastic applicators, at the end result.
These so-called ‘plant-based’ plastic applicators were all polyethylene, meaning they will not decompose. Plant-based tampon applicators will remain in the environment forever, in the same way oil-based plastic does.
This marketing ploy has been designed to trick people into believing that by purchasing these tampons, they’re avoiding harming the planet, when the opposite is true.
Read our full report: Applicators Unwrapped: The truth about ‘plant-based’ plastic tampon applicators
What do people think ‘plant-based plastic’ means?
Green-minded citizens see the words ‘plant-based’ and they think that they are choosing an ecological alternative to oil-based plastic. The term suggests that this variation of plastic is biodegradable, compostable and guilt-free.
Sometimes plant-based plastic is biodegradable and compostable, but not always, and not in the case of tampon applicators.
What can we do about it?
Spread the word – our voices are louder if we join together! We need you to show the tampon industry that you won’t stand for greenwashing.
Choose plastic free applicators – Natracare sells tampons with cardboard applicators, but there are plenty of plastic-free options available.