In India, 12% of women use sanitary napkins which results in at least 9,000 tonnes of garbage. Over 1 billion non-biodegradable pads are produced every month. And this number is continuously increasing.
India is still lacking in managing the menstrual hygiene properly. 88% women use traditional unhygienic methods during their periods, which is not good for their health. The other 12% use sanitary pads, which are non- biodegradable and uses chlorine bleach as a key ingredient, which releases toxic chemicals as a by-product of the bleaching process. This causes harm to nature.
Every day sanitary pads are disposed of with mixed waste from the houses. This creates a problem to sanitation workers, while splitting up the waste in the treatment plants.
And if the pads are simply disposed or thrown at a landfill site, it poses several health hazards to the health of rag pickers. Therefore, it is always advised that women should wrap the used pads in the newspaper and mark it with a red cross before dumping it.
Bio-degradable Pads are a solution to all these problems. These pads are made from natural raw materials like Pinewood paper, Silicon paper, Butter paper, Non-woven paper, and Cotton. These are also treated under Ultraviolet Radiations to kill the germs.
These pads, when buried in mud, get degraded within 8 days. Unlike artificial pads, these do not cause rash and irritation to delicate skin in vaginal areas.
The Self Help Group (SHG) named ‘Saheli’ in Goa is the first SHG to manufacture and sell eco-friendly sanitary pads. They sell the pads under the name ‘Sakhi‘ biodegradable sanitary pads.The cost of these pads is Rs 30 and each packet contains 8 pads.
Reusable Pads are another option for women. The design and use of these pads are similar to pads which we use. These pads are made up of cloth with two buttons stitched at the back which ensures that the pad is attached to your undies. These are made of layers of absorbent as well as leakproof materials and are absolutely healthy and environment-friendly.
A reusable pad needed to be changed in every 4-5 hours. Though reusable pads initially cost you more, they last much longer.
Now, many Self Help Group, NGOs, and Start-Ups have started producing these reusable pads and Biodegradable pads for women to help and reduce the burden of Non-Biodegradable products on the environment.
Now, hurry up and tell the women you love, about these eco-friendly pads.