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U of A team develops environmentally-friendly menstrual pad

By Admin User on March 12, 2020

The Hempact team, at the University of Alberta, is creating a hygiene pad without plastic. This eco-friendly product uses hemp as its main material to reduce plastic waste.

“We don’t usually think about this problem, but there are actually many tons of product waste with one woman’s whole life usage of plastic material waste,” said XinYi Fan, a Hempact team member.

The pad is able to decompose within six to eight months, nearly 100 years faster than the standard pad.

The team has been working on this project for three years. This year, they have been focusing more on using hemp to maximize its natural properties.

“We are still working on making hemp more absorb it than really is right now,” said Sonia Lal, Director of Public and Corporate Relations.

As well, they are trying to use new material in the pad to help reduce waste more efficiently.

“The biodegradable plastic that we are using, I think we are the one of the first groups to use it in the sanitary pad, so there are some challenges associated with that,” said XinYi Fan.

Lan says there are several additional benefits of using the eco-friendly pad. These include the hemp being three times more absorbent than cotton, naturally anti-bacterial and much softer. In addition, it takes 73 per cent less water to grow hemp than cotton.

The team hopes to sell its product on the University of Alberta campus by the end of this year.



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