How climate change is making tampons more expensive?

These days, a year ago, the world heard a very disturbing report on the effects of climate change. Published by the group of scientists that closely studies this phenomenon, the document showed that we are not standing on a good stage. 

Although there was encouraging news such as the reduction in the price of renewable energy, the data suggested that CO2 emissions had not stopped growing. If we didn’t act now, ruled the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the planet would be in serious trouble by the end of the century.

“Texas cotton growers suffered record losses amid heat and drought last year, new data shows. It’s an example of how global warming is a ‘secret inflation driver.'”

Climatic phenomenon affect our daily lives

The losses caused by droughts in the main US states where cotton is grown is the best example of how the climatic phenomenon can affect our daily lives. Tampons, gauze and bandages, among the items that have increased in value in that country.

According to the featured report of New York Times “Last year was a disaster for upland cotton in Texas, the state where the coarse fiber is mainly grown and then sold around the world in the form of tampons, cloth diapers, pads and other products. Cotton is “a pioneer crop,” Natalie Simpson, an expert in supply chain logistics at the University at Buffalo said.

“When the weather destabilizes it, you see changes almost immediately,” Simpson said. “This is true anywhere it is grown. And the future supply that everyone depends on will look very different than it does now. The trend is already there.”

In the largest loss on record, Texas farmers abandoned 74 percent of their planted crops (nearly six million acres) due to heat and parched soil, hallmarks of a megadrought made worse by climate change.

Exacerbated by climate change

“Climate change is a secret driver of inflation,” said Nicole Corbett, vice president of NielsenIQ. “As extreme weather continues to affect crops and production capacity, the cost of essentials will continue to rise.”

On the other side of the world, in Pakistan, the world’s sixth-largest producer of upland cotton, severe flooding, exacerbated by climate change, destroyed half of the country’s cotton crop.

There have been other bottlenecks in the global supply of cotton. In 2021, the United States banned cotton imports from China’s Xinjiang region, a major cotton-producing area, due to concerns about the use of forced labor.

But experts say the impact of global warming on cotton is spreading across the globe with consequences that could be felt for decades to come.

By 2040, half of the world’s cotton-growing regions will face “high or very high climate risk” from droughts, floods and wildfires, according to the nonprofit group Forum for the Future.

Upland cotton is shorter and thicker than its better-known cousin, Pima cotton. It is also much more widespread and is the main ingredient in cheap clothing and basic household and hygiene products.

In the United States, most cotton grown is upland cotton, with cultivation concentrated in Texas. It’s unusual for a large commodity crop. While other crops, such as corn, wheat and soybeans, are affected by extreme weather, they are geographically dispersed, so a major event affecting some of the crops can save the rest, said Lance Honig, an economist of the Department of Agriculture.

At least 50 percent of the denim in every pair of Wrangler and Lee jeans is woven from American-grown cotton, and the cost of that cotton can be more than half the price, said Jeff Frye, Kontoor’s vice president of sustainability. brands. that he owns both brands.

Among the cotton products most sensitive to commodity prices are personal care items like tampons and gauze pads, because they require very little labor or processing like dyeing, spinning or weaving, said Jon Devine, an incorporated cotton economist at research and marketing company.


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