The world has progressed and from cloth pads we have come very far with better absorbing and fragrance enhanced sanitary napkins. But the evil truth behind these sanitary napkins is that they are a BIG environment hazard and are non degradable. Disposal of these napkins poses an extreme environmental threat as tons of sanitary napkins are converted into heaps of non-degradable plastic waste.
According to studies, only 12% of the 355 million women in India of menstruating age can afford the expensive sanitary napkins. But this small percent also translates into huge nos. – these 12% women means 42.6 million Indian women, who will throw away 21.3 billion sanitary napkins into a landfill in their lives. Now, can you imagine our future generation being able to survive when there will nothing else but these landfills and huge heaps of sanitary napkin waste everywhere? No, right?
Say no to these sanitary pads and let us look at options which are environment friendly for a better tomorrow.
The menstrual cups are the best disposable options which one can use in the modern day. The menstruation cups are made from silicon. They come in 2 variants – disposable and reusable. The menstrual cup is the most hygienic alternative as the blood stays in the cup within the vagina with no exposure to air and hence less chances of infections.
The blood gets filled in the cup which is inserted inside the vagina. You can keep it inside till 12 hours at a stretch. Then remove it, flush the contents in a toilet, clean the cup and reuse it if it is a reusable variant or dispose it if it is a disposable variant.
Insertion devices are not popular in the Asian region mainly because of the alleged discomfort or the inconvenience caused during the first trial of insertion. It may be difficult during the first trial but as you get a hang of the insertion and removal method, this is the most convenient alternative to sanitary napkins. Here is a guide on insertion of the cup.
Reusable Cloth Pads
Reusable Cloth Pads are made from soft cotton and hence do not cause irritation to the skin as caused by the chemicals of sanitary napkins. These are easy to use, almost similar to our sanitary napkins.
These can be reused. Once used, soak them in warm water and let all the blood come out of the cloth. Post that, wash them as normal clothes with soap and water.
As these are made from cotton, disposing them becomes easier as compared to sanitary napkins. Women might feel that these napkins are expensive but if you compare to the damage caused by sanitary napkins, in the long run these reusable cloth pads seem inexpensive.
These pads are available at Ecofemme, Anandi Pads, Jayashree Industries, Goonj NJPC (Not just a piece of cloth). All these initiatives work towards rural development and employment and these are the cheaper variants of reusable cloth pads.
If you are a DIY person and want to try your hands on making your own reusable pads, then Wikihow is here to help!
In order to save earth from the upcoming disaster, let us vow today to use environment friendly alternatives to sanitary napkins. For a better tomorrow for our kids, say no to sanitary napkins!