UK company Planera has created what it says is the first certified flushable pad, made from just three materials: plant fibres, tree sap, and a ‘unique’ water-dispersible, biodegradable polymer.

Launched as a breakthrough in period care, once flushed, the Planera pad breaks down into small plant fibres that are processed into clean water, energy from biogas and fertilizer, reducing carbon footprint by over 50%.

“What do you do with a £23 billion industry – used by over half the world – that generates enough permanent waste from conventional and organic pads to choke the planet over 1600 times every single year? You kill it,” says co-founder Dr Olivia Ahn. “Time for a new market leader with zero microplastics, half the carbon footprint, and the most convenient and hygienic route of disposal for people with periods. Planera’s promise is that the pad you use today will be gone by your next period.”

A pad that is used for eight hours should never remain for 500 years

Adds co-founder Aaron Koshy: “Our waste should not outlive us. A pad that is used for eight hours should never remain for 500 years. We spent the last four years working with 1,500 members of our community to create over 300 iterations of our pad. We learnt from our failures and made some important breakthroughs! Together we developed the only certified flushable pad that breaks down in days, not centuries.”

Each new batch of pads goes through a full loop of feedback, development and testing, before being made available to buy. Consumers can sign up to a waiting list to get a ‘ping’ when the pads are available to buy on the online store. Currently the pads are available in limited amounts and in one size, but the company is working on scaling up production at its East London factory and expanding its range.

PLANERA’s pads are independently tested in accordance with the UK’s water industry specification for flushability testing.