Using sustainable and environment-friendly products is the need of the hour to protect and restore nature and its resources and while menstruation is a testing time for menstruators with all cramps, headaches and mood swings, it is also a testing time for our planet. It is because most menstrual products are made up of plastic and non-biodegradable materials, which generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year but these materials take approximately 500 to 800 years to decompose and still do not disintegrate completely.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Gautam Kanodia, Managing Director of Hygiene Plus, revealed, “The use of plastic products including the pads contaminates the whole surrounding and pollutes the environment. These materials can also harm health as they are made of certain chemicals which may lead to vaginal infections.”
He advised, “Both menstruators and manufacturers of personal hygiene products together should be equally responsible and take initiatives to protect the environment, by switching to plant-based eco-friendly products. Products like biodegradable pads don’t only help in tackling the issue of environmental pollution but are also gentle towards the skin, reducing the chances of getting rashes. As for Menstruators, switch to plant-based eco-friendly products like cloth pads and biodegradable pads among others to save the environment.”
According to Manju, Program Head of Akhil Bharatiya Gramin Uthaan Samiti (ABGUS), it is important to create awareness of sustainable menstruation. She shared, “The plastics and chemicals contaminate not only the land but overall the environment around it. The current known waste management method is incineration – or burning where the pads are burned where the used product is burned in an open area or disposing of their menstrual waste in pit latrines.”
She asserted, “These practices need to change as they do more harm to nature by contaminating its resources. Whether it’s urban or rural, a proper sanitary waste disposal method is required. Installing vending and disposal machines to dispense and waste management of used pads can be promoted by local bodies in every area to ensure protect the environment. As for menstruators, switching to eco-friendly products such as menstrual cups, cloth pads, and period panties among others, are financially cheaper as well. Also, do not throw soiled sanitary pads out in the open. Cover it with paper or recycling material and throw it in a garbage can.”
Small changes can create major impacts on protecting the environment, you just need to start.