Is Azah biodegradable?  (3 factors) 

This article covers some important questions regarding the rising female hygiene brand Azah and addresses the following questions:

  • Are Azah pads biodegradable?
  • Are they recyclable?
  • Why do they cost more than normal pads?
  • Are they actually better than conventional pads?
  • What is the environmental impact of Azah sanitary pads?
  • How green is the packaging of Azah pads?
  • Are there any greener alternatives to Azah pads?
  • FAQs

Is Azah biodegradable?

Azah sanitary pads are indeed biodegradable because they are made from 100% cotton. Cotton is a natural material and therefore considered biodegradable. 

As per the recycling aspect, although it is possible to recycle cotton, the same can not be recommended for Azah pads because these pads may be contaminated which may put the recycling facility and its workers at risk of contamination. 

Further, the producers of Azah claim that its packaging is also biodegradable and therefore, all these factors make Azah a good and eco-friendly option among sanitary pads. 

However, since Azah pads are made from cotton, it has to be commented that cotton is not a sustainable plant in today’s terms, as it uses a large amount of water and needs a lot of fertilizers and pesticides to grow. On the other hand, Azah does not claim to be using clean energy for its manufacturing.

What is Azah and what is their product range?

Azah is an India-based feminine hygiene brand that was introduced in 2018 and currently has a market cap of around 3 million USD. Azah primarily produces organic sanitary pads which are marketed as a more eco-friendly alternative to synthetic sanitary pads.

What are Azah sanitary pads made of? Why are they different from synthetic pads?

The main functional part of sanitary pads is the core which absorbs the fluid and locks it away from the body. Conventional sanitary pad’s core is made of Super Absorbent Polymer or SAP which in most cases is polyacrylate polymer: a cheap synthetic polymer which is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. 

Azah sanitary pad’s core is made from organic material. The exact formula or details is a trade secret but Azah claims they are primarily made of cotton and are readily biodegradable and that other parts of the pads are also 100% biodegradable which is quite remarkable.

For decades, synthetic polymer-based sanitary pads have created an environmental hazard because they are single-use, non-biodegradable, non-recyclable products which eventually end up in a landfill.

Are Azah sanitary pads biodegradable?

Biodegradability of a product means that it is completely made from or most of its ingredients are made from natural substances that can be degraded in nature in less than a year, unlike synthetic non-biodegradable products which can remain on the planet for thousands of years and harm the environment.

There is a general thumb rule to consider the biodegradability of a substance and that is if a product is organic and natural then it is definitely biodegradable. Azah claims that their sanitary pads are made of 100% organic cotton which if true means that their products are indeed 100% biodegradable.

By definition, biodegradation is the ability to be degraded by the action of microbes. It is an important parameter to assess how eco-friendly and sustainable a product is. 

If a material or product is biodegradable, it means that it will contribute less to environmental problems and also that it will help in alleviating waste problems. 

Are Azah sanitary pads recyclable?

It is an interesting thing because the whole narrative about recycling revolves around two basic concepts. Either a product is recycled to reduce its environmental impact or to reduce the manufacturing cost. However, in the case of sanitary pads, recycling is not always safe and not recommended purely on medical grounds.

The thing with sanitary pads is that they absorb menstrual blood which may contain diseases which is why it is not recommended to recycle them but once a pad is biodegradable in nature it means that there is no need to recycle it. 

As discussed earlier, Azah sanitary pads are biodegradable which is why it does not need to be recycled. Biodegradable products do not have any direct environmental impact. The only possible impact is the way of manufacture, choice of energy sources and carbon footprint etc.

What is the packaging of Azah pads made of?

Yes, Azah claims that their packaging is made of 100% biodegradable material and readily degrades in nature. Most feminine sanitary product packaging is recyclable which is not a preferred choice.

Sanitary pads are used by women in almost every corner of the world and the problem with that is that not every place in fact most of the places do not have proper recycling facilities and even if they do, still the majority of the people do not bother putting recyclables in proper recycling trash cans which is why biodegradables are always the most eco-friendly choice.

Azah is one of many companies that use biodegradable packaging but they have to be appreciated for going a step ahead by making their pads biodegradable.

What is the environmental impact of Azah? (3 factors that assess the eco-friendliness of Azah) 

The environmental impact of any product can be judged on three important things:

  • Usage of a product – A product used in large quantities has a higher impact so the product’s manufacturing and development must be taken into account when discussing its environmental impact
  • Ingredients – the ingredients make the product, if those ingredients are natural, sustainable and biodegradable then the product would have no or very low impact on the environment.
  • Disposal – Perhaps it is the most important step, if a product needs specialized disposal methods then it will have a high impact as it can’t always be properly disposed of. Biodegradable products are always the best choice.

In the case of Azah when we assess these factor, it comes to our notice that Azah is a new company and currently has a very small market share as compared to bigger names and the ingredients and packaging of Azah sanitary pads is biodegradable which makes the environmental impact of Azah low.

Are Azah pads any better than other pads when it comes to sustainability?

Yes. However, the question of sustainability is a different one. Until now we have discussed that Azah pads are biodegradable and have a very low environmental impact in terms of waste production but Azah as we know uses cotton-based cores and sheets.

Cotton is not a sustainable plant in today’s terms, as it uses a large amount of water and needs a lot of fertilizers and pesticides to grow. On the other hand, Azah does not claim to be using clean energy for its manufacturing.

Companies tend to be very outspoken when their production method is sustainable which in Azah’s case is not but as of now, Azah still has a low impact due to its limited production as the demand increases the impact grows as well but still it Azah is a lot better product than conventional synthetic polymers which have a high environmental impact and are unsustainable.

Are there any greener alternatives?

Yes, there are many but they are more expensive. Although Azah has made a very good effort,  the point discussed earlier has its own significance. 

We as consumers need to look for companies that use sustainable methods of products and need to continue supporting companies like Azah as well as they are much better and act as first steps towards a better environment.

Conclusion

It is concluded that Azah sanitary pads are indeed biodegradable because they are made from 100% cotton. Cotton is a natural material and therefore considered biodegradable. 

As per the recycling aspect, although it is possible to recycle cotton, the same can not be recommended for Azah pads because these pads may be contaminated which may put the recycling facility and its workers at risk of contamination. 

Further, the producers of Azah claim that its packaging is also biodegradable and therefore, all these factors make Azah a good and eco-friendly option among sanitary pads. 

However, since Azah pads are made from cotton, it has to be commented that cotton is not a sustainable plant in today’s terms, as it uses a large amount of water and needs a lot of fertilizers and pesticides to grow. On the other hand, Azah does not claim to be using clean energy for its manufacturing.

Frequently Asked Questions: Is Azah biodegradable?

How is Azah different from other sanitary pads?

Conventional sanitary pad’s core is made of Super Absorbent Polymer or SAP which in most cases is polyacrylate polymer: a cheap synthetic polymer which is non-biodegradable and non-recyclable. 

Azah sanitary pad’s core is made from organic material. The exact formula or details is a trade secret but Azah claims they are primarily made of cotton and are readily biodegradable and that other parts of the pads are also 100% biodegradable which is quite remarkable.

Is Azah more expensive?

Yes, due to the fact that Azah is made from cotton, these sanitary pads are more expensive than other available options. 

Is cotton harmful?

Although cotton is a natural, plant-based entity, it also can be harmful because it uses a large amount of water and needs a lot of fertilizers and pesticides to grow.

References:

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