One of the most significant topics nowadays is environmental pollution, and it is something that we need to talk about rather than avoid. Any product that is made using industrially manufactured plastic takes roughly 1000 years to decompose in landfills. Even the plastic bags we use in our everyday life usually take 10-1000 years to decompose fully, whereas plastic bottles can take 400 years or more.
Apart from these plastic products, one that all of us forget about at times is the disposable sanitary pad. On an average, a woman will throw away more than 15,000 pads in her lifetime. However insane this may sound, it is true. Go ahead, and do the math. So it should be safe to say that all over the world, thousands of tons of sanitary waste is generated every month. According to the data provided by Menstrual Health Alliance India, 45% of the menstrual waste in the country is disposed of as routine waste along with other garbage.
Many experts agree that the half-life for the disposal of a sanitary pad is 110 years. Imagine how much time it would take for the 432 million sanitary napkins that are generated in India annually which has the potential to cover landfills spread over 25 hectares. And it isn’t just the rate of decomposition that we should worry about. Have you wondered the amount of toxic chemicals that would leach the soil or how much odor would be emitted by the waste disposed of in the landfills?
But times have changed, due to the awareness surrounding the issue, many women have shifted to using sustainable menstrual products. From tampons, panty liners, and pads, women have now started opting for menstrual cups and period panties. The positive impact of these products can be seen on not just the environment but the health of the women too which is why we can rightly say that they are pollution-free and hassle-free.
Let us talk about these products in a detailed manner so even you can do your bit in making not only your period cleaner and greener but also the environment.
- Menstrual Cups
These are probably the most cost-effective products that you can use during your periods, and here’s why. They last for up to 10 years without causing any health hazards once you’ve become accustomed to them. Since menstrual cups are made using flexible medical grade silicone, it lowers the chances of contracting vaginal infections, diseases or rashes. You do not need to change menstrual cups as often as you would have to change a sanitary pad or a tampon. They are usually leak-proof, so they do not emit any odor.
- Reusable sanitary napkins (Cloth Pads)
Reusable sanitary napkins, though similar in design to disposable pads, can be washed after use eliminating the need to dispose of them. They are capable of absorbing light and heavy flow since they are made of layers of cotton. They also protect you from coming into contact with many harmful chemicals found in disposable sanitary napkins.
- Bio-degradable napkins
Those who can’t help but reach for a sanitary pad every time will be glad to know that they can contribute to a cleaner environment by using bio-degradable napkins instead of the regular ones. These sanitary pads not only promote hygiene but also lead to ease of disposal, in turn, keep the environment clean. Their decomposing rate is approximately six months after disposal in a landfill, under certain pressure conditions