Around 432 million pads /sanitary napkins are generated in India annually, weighing around 9000 tonnes. They can cover landfills spread over 24 hectares.
The burning of sanitary napkins produces toxic fumes. These disposed menstrual products pose a threat to the health of the waste-pickers when they come in their contact to segregate them.
The lack of standardised methods of sustainable sanitary waste disposal has paved the way for them to become a breeding ground for infections and diseases in India.
There are many NGOs and small companies that have come forward to help tackle this issue for the sake of our health.
The inconvenient truth about Sanitary pads
Usually, sanitary napkins are wrapped in plastic or paper and thrown along with the domestic waste. Some flush them down not realising that it will ultimately block the sewer. A survey in Pune in 2013 revealed that the women were unaware of the potential threats of sanitary napkins – and many of them dump them in open fields.
63% of the women admitted that they didn’t have any proper provision for disposing their sanitary waste in their workplaces, while an overwhelming majority of the girls said that they feel ashamed of throwing it or handing them over to the waste pickers. This dismal state of an essential component of the life of half India’s population has gripped the minds of the intellectuals repeatedly.