Best Way to Dispose of Sanitary Pads – However, for every woman, every month this is something to think and worry about. This is not like any other waste disposal. It’s about our health, environment, and human rights which impacts the whole nation. In India, sanitary napkins, like in most parts of the world, are either flushed down the toilet, thrown into the trash, or burnt.
Below are the few ways that can actually make a difference in making a go green-
1- At home, let’s make sure that your menstrual waste is not a part of your regular domestic waste. It can be kept separately as a bio/wet waste. Follow the red dot campaign, where you can mark your sanitary waste with a red dot for its easy identification and a simple solution to a lot of waste woes.
2- In schools and colleges, there must be a suitable method for sanitary disposal. Incinerators or “feminine hygiene bins” should be used to dispose of menstrual waste. A need of the hour is proper education, awareness, and healthy disposable habits without any shyness or fear.
3- Talking about public toilets, please do not flush them or leave them unwrapped. Think about the hygiene of other users and the cleaners.
I still remember as a child, I was extremely conscious of carrying my sanitary pad to a public toilet and most of the time being clueless about its disposal. Like any other woman, I felt helpless to find a proper solution. Not just socially but personally. Newspapers, plastic covers, or in the worst scenario, nothing!
How to dispose of sanitary pads?
Disposing of sanitary napkins can be a difficult job. Not only is there a lack of proper arrangements in public toilets but this is considered a taboo altogether, which is why most women refrain from discussing appropriate ways of disposal. But it is important to remember that the wrong disposal of sanitary napkins can be detrimental to the environment.
Why should sanitary pads be disposed of properly?
There are few reasons to ensure that used sanitary napkins are discarded properly. On an individual level, soiled sanitary pads can be smelly and attract flies. The exposed blood also becomes a suitable environment for germs.
If you have pets in the house, and/or eager toddlers, then it is especially necessary to keep them away from prying into the bins and pulling out the pads. Additionally, while a used sanitary pad is the result of a natural process, many people are grossed out by the proximity of a discharge of bodily fluids.
Now let’s look at the larger picture. It is to be remembered that sanitary napkins contain plastic and other chemicals, along with cotton. The plastic content is non-biodegradable, and thus, these pads are not eco-friendly at all. These sanitary napkins, with 90% plastic content, stay there for 500-800 years.
Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998, recommends that medical wastes such as sanitary napkins should be incarcerated or exposed to severe heat for the destruction of pathogens, which does not happen. Instead, they are discarded as household waste; they have to be separated from other recyclable wastes, manually. This exposes the waste pickers to micro-organisms before the pads are buried in landfills outside the cities.
How to dispose of sanitary pads properly?
- Separate Bin for Biohazards: In most houses, there are separate bins for dry and wet wastes. It is to be remembered that soiled sanitary napkins belong to neither. They are a biohazard waste. So, the first step to dispose of sanitary napkins properly is to keep a separate bin for them.
- Disposable Bag inside Bin: Place a disposable lining inside your bin, and collect the used napkins inside. This will prevent the local waste collector from just dumping the soiled pads into the collected waste and mixing them with the rest of the dry/wet garbage. It’s a good idea to mark this bag as “biohazard waste”. Throw them away every two days.
- Fold and Wrap the Napkins: Before disposing of the menstrual pad, fold it and wrap it properly in toilet papers. You can also wrap it in a plastic/paper cover of the new pad that you will use next. This will not only ensure that the unsightly pads are adequately covered but keep away the odor, germs, and flies.
- Cover: Ensure that the bin you’re using to dump the sanitary napkins has a lid. Every time you dump a used pad, fold the mouth of the bag inside to close it and then cover the bin securely. This will further prevent odors and insects. Besides, it will avert curious kids or playful pets from prying into the containers.
- Don’t Flush: Flushing sanitary napkin is a strict no-no. They can clog the pipeline and cause an overflow.
If you use sanitary pads/napkins, the steps of disposing of them in a sterile manner something very similar, and for the same reasons. Of course, if you’re afraid that despite your efforts, the used sanitary napkins will still be harmful to the environment or the people dealing with them, then you can always shift to the reusable menstrual cups which last for ten years. If any case, you feel that sanitary pads are the best option, then you must make sure to put your best efforts to discard them appropriately.
This blog was finished to help you transform yourself into a smart consumer of sustainable products. Because it’s in your hand: what impact you want to have on your surroundings. By making a wise decision, you can make a positive difference in the environment and in the society at large.
Begin your feasible journey today.