Why are reusables better than disposables?Updated 9 months ago
We make reusable apparel to manage life’s leaks because it’s better for your body...and better for the planet. Our products have a purpose, are made from fabrics which feel good, being reused to manage all of life’s leaks, day after day, month after month, year after year.
Why choose to reuse? Let’s count the reasons – and the stats are scary. Firstly, despite looking and feeling like cotton, most pads and tampons are primarily made of plastic – up to 90%4 for pads – with one pack of pads containing the same amount of plastic as 5 plastic bags5.
Just ONE disposable pad takes between 500 and 800 years to biodegrade6, which means the first pads ever made are still in landfill somewhere in the world. In Australia, women use an estimated 500 million pads7 each year. Plus, the average tampon user goes through about 11,0008 in their menstruating lifetime, each tampon takes longer than the average female lifespan to degrade, and plastic tampon applicators take 25 years to break down in the ocean. It’s estimated that over the course of their menstruating life, the average person disposes of approximately 200kg of tampons, pads and applicators9.
In the UK alone, almost 28,000 tampon applicators are fished out of the ocean every single day, with disposable menstrual hygiene waste collectively generating 200,000 tonnes of waste per year10.When you consider the additional waste caused by single-use products for managing incontinence, as well as disposable nappies, the environmental impact is incredibly serious.
When it comes to disposable nappies, the environmental toll is enormous.
Between birth and the age of three, the average child will use around 6,500 disposable nappies, generating one tonne of plastic waste. In the US alone, approximately 27.4 billion disposable nappies are used every year – the equivalent of 3.4 million tonnes of waste heading to landfill. A UK study has found one year’s worth of nappy wearing by children in the UK contributes the same emissions as that produced by 98,600 cars driving for 12,000 miles each. 
According to the Victorian* government, 3.75 million disposable nappies are used every day in Australia and New Zealand, with one cup of crude oil used to make each disposable nappy and every single one taking 150+ years to break down in landfill. Plus, the methane (a greenhouse gas) released from rotting soiled nappies contributes to global warming.
Modibodi is committed to reducing our reliance on single-use items such as pads and tampons and disposable nappies to manage our periods and other leaks. These ‘convenient’ products come with an inconvenient environmental cost. Single use products require the collection of raw materials which generates significant carbon emissions and water use. Some products are washed into our waterways, directly impacting marine life, and many end up in landfill where they leak chemical toxins into the soil for hundreds of years.
Modibodi’s own research reveals that 65 to 80 per cent of our Australian customers made the switch to reusable underwear to replace their use of disposable period and incontinence products, highlighting the positive impact our products are having on the environment.
For a wide range of statistics around waste and sustainability, visit our STATISTICS source document.