Can We Compost Tampons? How?

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Quick Answer: Can We Compost Tampons?

Yes. We can compost tampons as long as they are made from plant-based and natural materials. Organic tampons are considered brown compost and may be mixed with green compost to fasten the decomposition process. On the other hand, we can not compost conventional plastic tampons. They have a negative environmental impact.

This is a comprehensive guide on whether we can compost tampons and if yes, how to go about doing it.

Scroll down to know more!

Can We Compost Tampons?

Yes. We can only compost tampons that are plastic-free and plant-based without any additives. But, we can not compost conventional tampons made of plastic.

Yes. We can compost tampons that are made with plant-based and natural materials. They should be plastic-free.

Tampons that are 100% GOTS certified organic cotton are ideal to compost. They do not contain any pesticide, including glyphosate.

Conventional tampons are made of crude oil plastic and so, avoid composting them.

Please ensure that the tampons do not have a plastic security or hygiene veil or a reinforced string. If they do, they may not be compostable.

Also, plastic applicator tampons are not compostable. In contrast, a cardboard applicator can be composted.

The best way is to read the ingredients list. You may not compost plant-based plastic as they are often polyethylene.

How Can We Compost Tampons?

Collect the tampons in the compost bin.

It is preferable to break them and separate the backing layer. Mix them with green organic matter and allow them to decompose by covering the bin.

Organic tampons are considered brown compost. They may take a longer time to break compared to green waste, including vegetables and grass.

The different steps in composting tampons are –

1. Make a compost bin

You may either buy or make a well-sealed compost bin. You may also create a compost heap. It should be well-drained and not soggy.

2. Collect the tampons

Throw the organic cotton tampons into the bin. It is a better idea to break up the pads and liners by hand.

You may also separate the backing layer that may contain little adhesive.

3. Add green compost

The next step is adding green compost, including coffee grounds, grass cuttings, and vegetable peelings.

Ensure that there is a good balance of green and brown compost.

4. Collect the garbage

Take care to keep the compost materials warm, moist, and well aired. You may wait for at least 18 months to fully break down the tampons.

Here is a useful video on composting tampons and sanitary pads:

How Long Does It Take For A Tampon To Decompose?

The organic tampons may take anywhere between six to 24 months to decompose. It may depend on the materials, moisture levels, and temperature of the compost bins. Conventional tampons may take more than 500 years to decompose.

It depends on several factors, including moisture levels, materials, and temperature of compost bins. I recommend giving at least 18 months before using the compost on the soil.

Can Tampons Decompose By Itself?

Yes. Organic tampons made of biodegradable materials may decompose by themselves. But, conventional tampons take a very long time and get accumulated in landfills and waterways.

Organic tampons may decompose by themselves within a shorter period as they are made of natural materials.

They constitute 100% organic cotton that breaks down into natural components.

On the other hand, conventional tampons are made from plastic and may take as long as 500 years to decompose.

So, they may not decompose within your lifetime. Also, they may sit in the landfills causing land and water pollution, as it releases toxic fumes.

Is It Safe To Compost Tampons?

Yes. The organic tampons are safe to compost. The menstrual blood contains important plant nutrients but may harbor infectious pathogens.

But, you may have to take extra care as the tampons have old-period blood that may harbor some infectious pathogens.

But hot composting may kill the biohazardous pathogens. Many gardeners have used tampon compost to restore depleted soil and help with the growth of plants.

In contrast, conventional tampons are not safe and environment-friendly. They are made of plastic, bleached cotton, wood pulp, and rayon.

They may release toxic residues in your compost pile, and most microbes do not recognize these materials as food.

Can You Flush Biodegradable Tampons?

No, You should not flush biodegradable tampons. The organic tampons may take time to degrade into natural components.

They may accumulate over time if flushed and block drains. If left unattended, it may potentially flood homes and gardens.


What are the different methods to compost tampons?

There are different methods to compost tampons, including hot composting, Bokashi style, Trench composting, and the Humanure method. These methods kill harmful bacteria residing in the used tampons.

Are tampons applicators compostable?

Not all tampons are compostable. Only cardboard applicators are compostable. The applicator that is made of plastic or plant-based plastic is not compostable. You may also use a reusable applicator to reduce environmental impact.

Bottom Line

Hopefully, this article has informed you how to compost tampons and have a safer environment!

Do share this to spread the love of composting!