Why Pads and Diapers Are Bad for You and the Environment

Why Pads and Diapers Are Bad for You and the Environment

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Pads and diapers are the most common products recommended if you are experiencing incontinence symptoms. They are convenient for most people but it comes at a cost to the environment. Here are some of the main reasons why these products are bad for the environment and our solution:

1. They are disposable

Because these products are easily disposable, many people are using numerous pads or diapers per day making the overall waste increasingly worrisome. Urinary incontinence affects more than 400 million adults worldwide, with bladder related diagnosis increasing every year. 

Global Market Insights states:

“Disposable Incontinence Products Market exceeded USD 10.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at over 7.5% CAGR between 2021 and 2027. Increasing prevalence of chronic diseases such as bladder cancer, kidney diseases, urological and endocrine disorders is driving the demand for disposable incontinence products.” 

If only 50% of this population uses on average 5+ diapers or pads per day, more than 1 billion of these disposed products end up in landfills each day. And, once a disposed pad or diaper hit a landfill it can take up to 400 years to fully decompose.

2. They contain many chemicals

These products are meant to absorb and hold a substantial amount of liquid, so in order for this to be possible they are made with many chemicals and high levels of plastic. 

While most of these products end up in landfills and are non-flushable, some people tend to still flush these products regardless. Incontinence products are routinely flushed down the toilet where they combine with fats and oils that create sewer blockages. Those that don’t get clogged in the sewage system make their way into waterways, which are harmful to natural wildlife.

Another option would be the incineration which is the process of burning these products however, this contributes severely to air pollution. In other words, there is no environmentally friendly way to break down these products once they have been disposed because of the chemicals used to create them. 

More importantly, these chemicals not only harm the environment, they also harm you. A major complaint or concern people often have with disposable diapers or pads is they irritate the skin. These harsh chemicals within these products often cause rashes and chaffing, and also a main cause to UTI’s and bladder infection.

3. Contributes to deforestation

A major contributor to making disposable incontinence products is softwood pulp. Softwood pulp is the major ingredient that makes these products absorb liquid. It is often used for period products, paper napkins, and of course pads and diapers. 

Because these products are in high demand, with more people needing them and doctors suggesting these products as a treatment for incontinence symptoms, the more these products will be produced. 

These products are mass factory produced through the soft lumber industry, making deforestation the main way to meet this demand.

“Deforestation refers to the decrease in forest areas across the world that are lost for other uses such as agricultural croplands, urbanization, or mining activities. Greatly accelerated by human activities since 1960, deforestation has been negatively affecting natural ecosystems, biodiversity, and the climate.” (youmatter)

What you can do:

At ActivKare, we specialize in urinary incontinence products that are:

    1. Reusable
    2. Comfortable
    3. Won’t harm the environment over time

Our Products:

  • Recyclable components
  • Contiform for women, an insertable pessary for stress urinary incontinence
  • ActivGo/Afex for men, brief style kits with attached bags to collect urine leakage

All three of these products are designed to be used again and again, making them appealing for anyone thinking of eliminating diapers and pads due to the impact on the environment and your wallet. 

Another benefit of these products versus diapers and pads is that the longevity of reusable products is better, making purchasing less frequent which cuts emissions over time. 

Once you buy one of our kits, you can simply buy replacement parts as needed. This cuts out a lot of the harmful fumes, and other chemicals that are emitted during the transportation process. 

Not only are diapers and pads harmful in landfills, but they’re frequency of use makes them have a larger negative impact versus a one-time purchase of a reusable product. 

Overall, choosing reusable products for urinary incontinence drastically reduces the environmental impact that disposable products can have over time.

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