Peer-reviewed LCA of menstrual products

A comprehensive analysis of the environmental impacts

About the project

With the current global concern about air, land and water pollution and the need to reduce carbon emissions, assessing the environmental impact of different menstrual products is increasingly important.

This study intends to overcome the gap in evidence by performing a comprehensive, peerreviewed, comparative, life-cycle assessment of menstrual products according to the norm ISO 14040/44. The products studied were silicone menstrual cups, and tampons and pads made either of organic cotton or cellulose-based materials and plastic. All life-cycle stages were considered including the production of components; manufacturing; distribution by producer; shopping trip; use by consumer; and disposal. The use of land, water, energy and materials; pollution of air, land and water; and health effects were also considered according to the Environmental Footprint impact assessment method.

The results of the study were released to the public in 2022: 

GreenDelta in the project

The focus of GreenDelta in this project was to cover in as much detail as possible the different factors involved in the different life cycle phases of the menstrual products. For example, the washing of hands post-use of the menstrual product and boiling of the reusable products was also taken into consideration. Various impact categories such as climate change, land-use, ecotoxicity and resource use were analyzed amongst others to provide a holistic view of the life cycle of the menstrual products. The models were created using data provided by the commissioner as well as from literature sources. The final results provided interesting perspectives on the menstrual products which could then be utilized for communication, marketing or other purposes.

Links and resources

Project duration: 2020 (5 months)