Eco guide to san­i­tary prod­ucts

Iran Daily - - Cul­tural Her­itage & En­vi­ron­ment - By Lucy Siegle*

This col­umn nearly didn’t hap­pen. When a man­u­fac­turer of eco friendly men­strual pads bounded up to me and asked me brightly in pub­lic: “Are you a flusher or a binner?” I stared at her in to­tal hor­ror.

Men­strual prod­ucts and their dis­posal rep­re­sent one of the last great con­sumer taboos — odd in a so­ci­ety which cheer­fully dis­cusses the va­jaz­zle. It’s a taboo that pow­ers a huge en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue. In their 2016 beach clean-up, the Marine Con­ser­va­tion So­ci­ety found 20 tam­pons and san­i­tary items per 100 me­ters of shore­line, The Guardian re­ported.

But City to Sea, the cam­paign group based in Bris­tol ded­i­cated to rid­ding the ocean of plas­tic, has no qualms about go­ing there. Their up­beat and to-the-point videos are so­cial me­dia sen­sa­tions. Plas­tic Free Pe­ri­ods! points out that some san­i­tary pads con­tain up to four plas­tic bags worth of plas­tic. No­body would flush plas­tic bags down the loo, so why fem­i­nine care prod­ucts?

Martha Sil­cott noted that bin­ning was of­ten fraught with em­bar­rass­ment so launched Fablit­tle­bag to pre­vent tam­pons be­ing flushed in the first place. The bag is opaque, can be opened with one hand, seals closed and is biodegrad­able.

Com­pare this bril­liantly dis­rup­tive prod­uct with the back­wards move from mass mar­ket brands who have re­cently in­sti­gated a switch from us­ing card­board ap­pli­ca­tors for tam­pons to plas­tic ones in pas­tel shades. These now lit­ter coast­lines ev­ery­where.

Quite why fem­care brands think they can get away with this is not clear. Why not avoid them al­togther and em­brace the rise of the reusables? This has been spear­head by Moon­cup, a re­us­able men­strual cup that has gained a se­ri­ous fan­base. For­tu­nately they’re happy to shout about it, too.

* Lucy Siegle is a Bri­tish jour­nal­ist and writer on en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues.

120 kilo­me­ters per hour — once stalked habi­tats from the eastern reaches of In­dia to the At­lantic coast of Sene­gal.

Their numbers have sta­bi­lized crit­i­cally en­dan­gered, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional Union for Con­ser­va­tion of Na­ture, mostly due to past hunt­ing.

Hooman Jokar, who heads the

It set up a net­work, now num­ber­ing 92 spe­cially trained park war­dens, who cover a to­tal of six mil­lion hectares in cen­tral and north­ern Iran.

War­den Reza Shah-hos­seini, as some 20 gazelles gal­loped past be­hind him, said, “Ev­ery day, we cover hun­dreds of kilo­me­ters to track wild an­i­mals in the park.”

There were 20 sight­ings of the chee­tah in Sem­nan Prov­ince last year.

“Many think that with­out this pro­gram the chee­tah would have to­tally dis­ap­peared from Iran,” said Jokar.

It was thought for a time that the chee­tahs had been wiped out, un­til they were found to have re­treated into the cen­tral desert re­gions.

Three ma­jor prob­lems have be­fallen the Asi­atic chee­tah in re­cent time: Cars, farm­ers and hav­ing noth­ing to eat.

“When we launched the project, the big­gest dan­ger was the lack of prey,” said Jokar.

The team fo­cused on build­ing up numbers of gazelles and rab­bits for the chee­tahs to eat, which has been largely suc­cess­ful.

Cars and farm­ers re­main a threat, how­ever.

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