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Undies, landfill, and climate change

Person in hazmat suit and mask standing on a tip.
Person in hazmat suit and mask standing on a tip.

Around 45 billion single use period products go into global landfill every month.  

These old-fashioned pads and tampons are full of plastic. They can take 500-800 years to break down and have a devastating impact on the environment.  

Period undies are not single use or made from plastic. That is great news on the landfill front but what about the production of these Undies? What is their carbon footprint? 

Our Undies Project partner Modibodi did a Life Cycle Assessment of their period undies to see how they compare with single use disposables. They found their period undies have lower carbon emissions than single use disposables equivalents.i 

They looked at raw material extraction, transport, manufacturing, distribution, customer use and end of life.  

The part of the period undies life cycle that creates the most carbon emissions is the growing and husbandry of raw materials, followed by the water consumption created by customer washing use.  

However, these are some of the ways Modibodi  reduces carbon emissions: 

  • Using shipped freight 90% of the time to transport the undies from their manufacturers to warehouses. This is approximately 30% lower carbon emissions than air freight. 

  • Partnering with companies who set carbon emission targets. 

  • Powering their offices with 100% carbon neutral energy. 

They found: 

  • After two years of use, a Modibodi gusset has 33%- 59% lower greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent amount of tampons and pads. 

  • After four years of use, a Modibodi gusset has 63%- 77% lower greenhouse gas emissions than the equivalent amount of tampons and pads. 

The manufacturers also ask their customers to help. Their instructions ask you to wash the undies in cold water with full loads, and line dry. (It also helps the Undies last.) 

Want to know about our Undies Project?  


The Undies Project aims to fight period poverty and to reduce landfill. 

We send a free bundle of 5 pairs of period-friendly underwear to Tasmanians who meet eligibility criteria.  

The 2021 pilot version of this project was so popular we were able to raise enough funds to take the project statewide! Since then, we have sent out over 7400 pairs of undies, and we have won a Community Achievement Award for Sustainability.  

Want to help? 

A donation of $50 will provide period security for a fellow Tasmanian for at least two years.  

You can donate to The Undies Project through our website ( and be part of the movement to reduce period poverty in lutruwita/Tasmania. 

From all of us at Women’s Health Tasmania, we wish you a very good period. 


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