Disposable verses Reusable Pads

At My Pads, we acknowledge that in Zimbabwe, there are some instances where disposable pads have their place. For example there are some areas of the country with inadequate water supply to wash re-usable pads.  However, research shows that as much as 70% of our population are using cloth to absorb their monthly currently (Research through SNV Netherlands conducted in 5 provinces around Zimbabwe in 2014).  So why do we need My Pads pads?  Well, because the cloths that girls are using are unhygienic – they have been used for years and years and are often shared with other family members.  They are not doing their job, otherwise we would see higher attendance of girls of school during their periods.  As the girls are lacking in purposeful cloth to use, they are not washing them often enough resulting in infections, bad odours and discomfort.

We highly recommend re-usable pads over disposable products for:

My Pads wear, wash, dry icon1. The Environmental Impact (production, packaging and disposal)

2. Health (no side-effects from chemicals – they are just lovely soft fabric!)

3. Cost benefits

4. Users don’t have to bury / burn or fill up pit laterines with used pads when the garbage disposal service doesn’t come … month after month.

In Zimbabwe, as of August 2016, there is no health standard available for either disposable or re-usable pads. My Pads is on the Technical Committee for the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) which is putting together the first ever SAZ standard for both disposable and re-usable pads. Rest assured that as soon as there is a standard available for Re-usable pads – My Pads will get it!

Advantages of a cloth sanitary pad

200-120  
210-260  
200-310  
SY0-401  
810-403  
300-320  
400-101  
70-533  
N10-006  
MB2-707  
210-060  
400-201  
350-018  
ADM-201  
CISSP  
1Z0-060  
400-051  
300-075  
MB2-704  
100-101  
352-001  
70-486  
300-135  
NS0-157  
210-260  
70-246  
1Z0-144  
3002  
AWS-SYSOPS  
70-347  
PEGACPBA71V1  
220-901  
70-534  
LX0-104  
070-461  
810-403  
200-120  
400-101  
CISSP  
300-320  
350-018  
300-101  
210-260  
300-208  
MB2-707  
400-201  
SY0-401  
210-060  
300-070  
210-260  
300-075  
300-101  
NSE4  
EX200  
200-120  
CISSP  
400-101  
810-403  
300-320  
210-060  
300-070  
210-260  
300-075  
300-101  
NSE4  
EX200  
300-115  
100-101  
220-801  
N10-006  
642-999  
SSCP  
70-480  
200-310  
EX300  
ICBB  
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1Z0-808  
AWS-SYSOPS  
1Z0-434  
300-070  
CAS-002  
200-310  
640-911  
300-550  
M2040-725  
1Z0-060  
400-051  
300-075  
MB2-704  
210-065  
300-075  
210-060  
400-101  
CAS-002  
1Z0-425  
1Z0-480  
1Z0-028  
1Z0-465  
1Z0-461  
70-534  
70-742  
1Z0-804  
LX0-103  
MB2-704  
640-911  
200-120  
EX300  
300-209  
70-246  
1Z0-144  
3002  
AWS-SYSOPS  
70-347  
PEGACPBA71V1  
220-901  
70-534  
LX0-104  
070-461  
070-461  
HP0-S42  
1Z0-061  
000-105  
70-486  
70-177  
N10-006  
500-260  
640-692  
70-980  
CISM  
200-101  
640-911  
200-120  
EX300  
300-209  
1Z0-803  
350-001  
400-201  
9L0-012  
70-488  
JN0-102  
  • Cloth pads are environmentally friendly in both manufacture and ultimate disposal. Disposable pads take many many years to biodegrade – especially those with a plastic liner to prevent leaking, or those tied up in plastic bags before they are thrown away.
  • They remove the risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) associated with tampons.
  • Save you money in the long term.
  • Drainage systems, pit latrines and dustbins are not filled with disposable sanitary pads.
  • They are comfortable and soft.
  • The perfect size can be chosen to suit individual needs (2 sizes available) which is particularly attractive to young teens who don’t need huge pads.
  • Women with sensitive skin and allergies usually find cloth pads to be more comfortable against their skin.
  • You don’t have to remember or budget to buy pads monthly.
  • With careful care (gentle washing) they will last years – but we recommend they are replaced every 12 – 18 months for good hygiene.

Things to consider

  • Washing reusable pads requires water.
  • Pads are quickest dried hanging outside, which may cause embarrassment for the women. (A light cloth can be hung over the pads on the washing line to hide them as they dry.)
  • Special care may need to be taken if the user has a Candidiasis infection (i.e. thrush /yeast infection). Once the infection is treated, the cloth menstrual pads may need to be sanitized in order to prevent reinfection.
  • Initial cost for reusable menstrual products is typically higher per pad than for disposables, although savings over time make them more economical.

Comments from some My Pads’ happy customers:

‘I change my cloth pad as often as I would change a disposable pad,
but I’m so happy not to throw it away and to wash it instead’

‘These pads are so soft and I feel confident wearing them’

‘Where have these been all my life?!’

What are disposable sanitary products made of?

Most disposable products (tampons and pads) are made from rayon. Rayon is a manufactured regenerated cellulose fibre. It is an artificial fibre as it is neither a truly synthetic fibre nor a natural fibre.

The base for starting to manufacture rayon is the cellulose found in wood-pulp. The cellulose then goes through 16 stages, including a cocktail of chemicals to get it to the final product. These chemicals have been the basis for many debates on the health implications for sanitary products. Many women around the world have reported rashes and skin irritations reportedly due to the chemicals found in the disposable products.

If you choose to use disposable tampons, please investigate what they are made of before using them inside your body. This will help you decide which brand to use.