lastic has plagued our lives. Human dependency on this toxic substance has disturbing consequences on the environment. Yes, while, plastics might be convenient for packaging and transportation, and even preventing embarrassing period bloodstains, the magnitude of their negative impact is far greater than our “convenience”.
If reports are to be believed, on an average 9000 tonnes of menstrual waste is monthly generated in India alone. Majority of this waste is in the form of plastic- based sanitary pads that are either flushed down the toilet or thrown out in the open with other household waste.
Menstruation is still a taboo in India today. Even after targeted informative talks, campaigns, and movies addressing the monthly bloody days, it continues to be surrounded by baseless myths and stigma. In a bid to overcome pollution, biodegradable pads have joined the bandwagon to educate women about menstrual hygiene.
Synthetic pads are made of 90 per cent plastic. According to statistics, a woman uses around 16,000 sanitary napkins in her lifetime. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that is a LOT of plastic. What starts as an innocent need for female menstrual hygiene, quickly escalates into an environmental threat.
Where Does This Plastic Go?
A sanitary pad takes around 500 years to decompose. Till then, it clogs landfills, water bodies, and sewage systems. This explains India’s trash management problems. Not having a proper disposal system in place for menstrual waste is a global issue. Even after a synthetic sanitary pad is fully decomposed, it leaves behind chemical compounds, thus, polluting the earth forever.
Women in India Have Now Started Switching To Biodegradable Pads
It is not so easy to switch from one menstrual hygiene product to another. Ask any woman and she will explain how difficult it is to break the habitual need for one particular product. However, a fresh change is slowly taking over Indian women as they are making the conscious decision of moving away from synthetic products to more eco- friendly options.
Pollution from plastic is a real threat. Taking control of their part, educated women have started looking into organic napkins for their monthly chums. Apart from plastic, pollution from menstrual blood is another major problem which can lead to deadly diseases.
The blood on the pads can collect pathogens, which can not only infect the soil but also water supplies in the cities and villages. It does not go good to exclude the possibility of a pad belonging to an HIV- infected person, in which case, people handling the waste, often the rag pickers can become infected.
A Healthier Option
The combination of chemicals, plastic, and other harmful materials used in the manufacture of a non- biodegradable or synthetic sanitary pads can cause irritation, allergies, small bruises, urinary tract infections, rashes, and welts. As if this fright wasn’t enough, it is found that chemicals from these synthetic pads can easily enter a woman’s bloodstream and cause period pain, cervical cancer, and miscarriages.
Plastic based sanitary napkins are also known to increase the temperature of your genital area. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in. Not to forget, this also produces a bad odour. Don’t be fooled by fragrances and scents used in synthetic sanitary pads- they are just more chemicals.
Now, these harmful effects may not show up immediately, but over a period of use, they slowly find their way into your lifestyle, effectively disrupting it.
Biodegradable pads, on the other hand, lets you escape a plethora of diseases, meanwhile causing zero irritation and making you responsible citizens of the country.
Time to Fully Embrace Biodegradable Sanitary Pads in India
Biodegradable sanitary napkins seem to tick all the boxes of a responsible product. It has transformed the realm of female hygiene and also takes care of the environment we are a part of. It is time to make this educated switch towards a better life.