Menstruation in itself is not bad for the environment. However, products used to manage menstruation can have a negative impact on the environment, depending on the product and the way it is disposed.
The most common menstrual products are a variety of plastic. Tampons come wrapped in plastic, encased in plastic applicators, with plastic strings dangling from one end, and many even include a thin layer of plastic in the absorbent part. Pads generally incorporate even more plastic, from the leak-proof base to the synthetics that soak up fluid to the packaging and chemicals that are bad for the environment. The time it takes for them to degrade in a landfill for centuries.
More environmentally friendly options include reusable menstrual cups as well as reusable and/or biodegradable pads or underwear but in many places, alternative methods are not available or culturally acceptable. In all circumstances, the choice of menstrual products must be acceptable to the people using them.