Menstruation is a topic close to every women’s heart. The wonderful life giving process is as natural as breathing still the subject is so taboo like having it is a crime.
With changing time, women’s role in society has changed so the period management methods.Our granny’s may have used cloth pads but today periods are unimaginable without disposable sanitary napkins.
How to buy a pad? Ask a shopkeeper he will wrap it in a black polythene and give it to you like it would be a sin if someone sees it. How to dispose of the pads? Use it wrap it in a plastic bag or paper and throw in the dustbin sometimes it directly goes out of the bathroom window rather than in dustbin.
Being an environmentalist my main concern is to create awareness about where does it go after disposal? It doesn’t go anywhere it remains in the system. However what doesn’t occur to most of us is staggering amount of sanitary waste generated every month are making their way into water bodies, fields and sewerage system polluting environment along with negative consequences on our health. The non biodegradable materials are used to make sanitary napkins are mostly plastics, polymers, super absorbents which lead to accumulation in landfills and due to its chemical cocktails burning causes harmful toxins to be released into atmosphere.
The biomedical waste rule, 1998 says that items contaminated with blood, body fluids, dressings are biomedical waste and should be incinerated, microwaved or autoclaved. But in India lack of concern for sanitary waste management can be reflected in the fact that there is no reliable statistics available on the subject.
Women’s have a huge role to play here by making periods shame free and environmental friendly.
1.Wrap the soiled napkins in plastic bag or leak proof bag.
2.Discard in trash cans that is out of reach of pets and animals.
3.Do not mix it with wet, household garbage and don’t flush it.
4. Most important is use of disposable pads and menstrual cups.
Government needs to take initiative to promote use of eco-friendly pads, menstrual cups, proper menstrual waste disposal by creating awareness through workshops, social media, TV, radio and promoting research to find a biodegradable alternative to sanitary napkins and also asking manufacturers to take responsibility and strive to find a biodegradable sanitary solution.
The life giving process of menstruation needn’t make mother earth a trash dump. Saving of earth is the first and foremost responsibility of everyone, just do it!
You carry Mother Earth within you. She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment. – Thich Nhat Hanh