Perfect Use of Eco-Friendly Sanitary Pads – From the woman with the softest smile, to the woman with the fiercest gaze, Care4 is come up with love to keep the entire womankind safe. Kick out the unrealistic beauty standards, “how to be a woman”, and products are laden without chemicals that no harm your perfect body.
Welcome to Care4 Hygiene – A Perfect Brand for Feminine Hygiene Products
It’s a fact that plastics have invaded our lives. And while they are convenient for packaging and transportation, they are extremely toxic and harmful to the environment.
Many of our personal hygiene products also have plastic in them, and one of the biggest examples of these is sanitary pads. In fact, the ‘plastic shield’, that does not allow moisture and the blood to seep through, is the unique selling proposition for many of the manufacturers. Yes, the plastic covering and the shield do prevent embarrassing bloodstains during periods, but at what cost?
While there is no official data, several reports estimate that on average about 9000 tones of menstrual waste is generated in India monthly, most of it in the form of sanitary pads. All these plastic-based sanitary pads are either flushed down toilets or thrown in the open as garbage along with other household waste. A large number of women in India use sanitary pads. A majority of the pads are plastic-based. According to Menstrual Health Alliance India, of the total sanitary waste generated in the country, about 45% is due to menstrual products, largely sanitary napkins.
There is no proper disposal system for menstrual waste either, and this is not merely a problem in India but also globally, especially in developing countries.
Harmful for Health
Many of us have grown up using plastic-based sanitary pads, oblivious to the harm that it does to the body.
When we menstruate, our body gets rid of blood and other body fluids. The plastic in the sanitary pads, while effectively trapping the moisture within, provides a breeding ground for bacterial and fungal infections. This can cause inflammation in the vagina and vulva, allergic reactions to the plastic, and irritation. It can also lead to pelvic inflammatory diseases, and in some cases, cervical cancer. It all depends on the type of plastic used and how long the pads are worn. It can also lead to compromising the reproductive health of the individuals and affect their fertility in the long term.
With plastic-based pads, it is necessary that they are changed frequently to avoid bacterial build-up. Most often, this cannot or does not happen, especially if there are no toilets or privacy available or one is on a long journey with no access to disposal systems.
There is very little awareness about the use of plastic-based sanitary pads and the impact of their long-term use on our health.
Harmful for the Environment
Sanitary pads are often thrown into ponds, rivers, and lakes, contaminating the water bodies and the organisms there, or thrown in the open, choking drains and polluting the soil.
While the plastic in sanitary pads does not degrade easily, the menstrual waste itself, consisting of blood and body fluids, is another source of pollution that can lead to deadly diseases. Care4 Hygiene often handles these sanitary pads with their bare hands and can easily become infected, in case the blood belongs to an HIV-infected person.
The blood on the pads can collect pathogens, and these can not only infect the soil but also the water supplies in the cities and villages, especially if the water pipes are not properly insulated.
Segregation of sanitary waste, and within it the menstrual waste, is very important. After segregating it, the plastic has to be separately disposed of while the blood and body fluids have to be treated as biomedical waste. Incineration is one of the ways to dispose of sanitary pads but the rules are rarely followed.
Eco-friendly Alternatives and Sustainable Menstruation
Women in rural areas use the re-usable cloth as sanitary pads and while that is eco-friendly, it is not so hygienic. Cloth pads have to be properly washed and dried in sunlight, which acts as a natural sterilizer.
Sanitary Pads made out of natural fibers and materials are viable and sustainable alternatives to commercial, mass-produced plastic sanitary pads. Other alternatives are pads all of which are highly absorbent and safe, not only for health but also for the environment.
Rural women are now making disposable pads out of banana tree fiber, which decomposes in less than a year. A number of entrepreneurs have now taken it upon themselves to venture into this area of making environment-friendly sanitary pads. Care4 too is a brand of sanitary pads that focuses on sustainable menstruation. Care4 sanitary pads are made out of their own sheet, which does not harm the environment, are biodegradable, and are safe for the user.
While plastic-based menstrual hygiene products are available in abundance, it is advisable to switch to a natural, safer product that does not have any harmful chemicals or synthetics fibers. Your intimate care is as important as any other personal care.