To all the women and girls out there, here’s an important, yet, much neglected question you must ask yourself – what happens to all that waste you create every month. Yes, we are talking about Menstrual Waste. Have we ever given it a thought? No, right. This is what happens to the menstrual waste created by every month – The conventional, mass-produced menstrual products are one-time used products and 90% of the sanitary pads is made of plastic and hence are non-biodegradable. In India, there is no recycling mechanism for the menstrual waste. Studies show that one sanitary pad takes around 100 years to completely decompose and India produces over 1 billion non compostable sanitary pads every month. And, this number is continuously increasing. So, where does it go after these are trashed away? The answer, it makes it way into urban sewerage systems, landfills, rural fields and water bodies.
The conclusion is simple, till now whatever menstrual waste has been generated, it exists out there somewhere on the planet.
Also Read: “Yes, I Menstruate”: A Group Of School Students Work Towards Menstrual Hygiene For Rural Women, Create Reusable Sanitary Pads
But, thanks to the environment champions who have taken it upon themselves to provide alternative options for dealing with growing menstrual waste. Here are the top 5 environmental friendly options available, though these products are yet to make its way to the local supermarkets and grocery stores, but, the products are available on orders and are in India.
It’s time to make this green switch!
Also Read: Why The Use Of Reusable Menstrual Products Is A Necessity
1. Saathi Pad, a sanitary napkin made of banana fiber which decomposes naturally in 6 months
Unlike conventional pads, a Saathi pad is different; it is made out of banana fiber which is considered as a waste product. The pad is 100% eco-friendly and is made out of materials such as biodegradable plastic, non-woven biodegradable. A pack of 8 pads cost Rs. 159. The best part is that it naturally decomposes within 6 months and is 1200 times faster than the conventional plastic pads.
The innovation was started by the graduates from MIT (US) and Nirma in 2015. Currently, the product is available over the website – saathipads.com.
2. Anandi’ Pad – India’s first 100% compostable sanitary pad
Made out of natural and starch based materials, Anandi (meaning joy and happiness) pads are available for Rs 40 (pack of 8) which is 40% lower than the lowest market competitor right now.
The pad is fully biodegradable in compostable conditions thereby providing a solution to India’s growing menstrual waste woes and ensureing minimal damage to the environment. Currently, one can order Anandi pads via email, the company provides courier service across India.
3. SheCup – Move over Sanitary Pads And Try Out This New Innovation
A SheCup is the most popular menstrual cup brand in the country. Made with medical grade silicon, it helps in the collection of blood when kept inserted inside the vagina. Unlike one-time used sanitary pads, a SheCup can be used over and over again and is in fact much more hygienic than a sanitary napkin. It is available for Rs 1064 on many ecommerce sites. Manufactured by MediAceso Healthcare, the product is tested by gynaecologists and is 100% safe for use.
Just in case you are wondering how it will benefit the environment – When you start using a SheCup, a reusable alternative to one-time used sanitary pads, you save around 125 kg of non-biodegradable waste going into the landfills.
4. Eco Femme – A Cloth Pad Revolution
The company provides washable cloth pads and unlike disposable sanitary napkins, these can be washed and re-used for years. The pad is made of natural material – cotton. Starting from Rs 86, the pads are a healthy alternative to the conventional sanitary pads, it is available on the site – ecofemme.org.
5. Goonj – Not Just A Piece Of Cloth
With a mantra that a humble piece of cotton cloth can save a woman and the environment, the NGO Goonj started making pads for the unfortunate rural women who could not use hygienic sanitary pads in their menstrual days.
Today, nearly 8 hundred thousand metres of cotton cloth has been converted into 4 million ‘MY PADS’ and have successfully reached women (across the country) as a solution to deal with her menses.
Also Read: An Urgent Challenge: Why India Needs To Tackle Its Menstrual Waste
Join the sanitary revolution by making this green switch, if you are one of those DIY people, here’s how you can make your own cloth sanitary pads.
When it comes to managing menstrual waste effectively, one needs to take the onus as the waste generators. Don’t wait for the government to take actions, this green switch is in your hands – act now!
June 22, 2017 at 1:23 pm
Very good information. But the details of how to buy is much needed. I haven’t seen them in local stores. Unless people know where these are available they will just move on to the next page and forget about these.
June 22, 2017 at 10:20 pm
where are these pads available?
January 13, 2018 at 6:49 am
Online and in some organic stores. Check greenthered.in for details in various brands and where to buy.
January 21, 2018 at 8:44 am
They are available online or in eco stores
June 23, 2017 at 4:56 pm
June 24, 2017 at 7:56 pm
From where to buy it
June 26, 2017 at 12:53 am
I want to buy the saathi and anandi pads,but don’t know where to buy it from.can you give me the informetion??
June 29, 2017 at 3:10 pm
Eco femme or goonj ek acha pryaas h.Mn in products ko kaise le sakti hoon.Agar mujhe mile to mn or ladies ko inke baare mn bta sakti hoon.
August 12, 2017 at 8:53 pm
Please let us know about it’s outlets.Just giving info will not serve the purpose.
January 13, 2018 at 6:52 am
Chk greenthered.in a campaign for sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions. Many brands and vendirss are listed there
January 11, 2018 at 10:55 am
Is there any wrappers collection centre in or around Delhi? I do segregate but hand over everything to the garbage collector. Is this right ?
January 21, 2018 at 9:55 am
Nice article! Do check out http://www.greenthered.in it has details,faqs and where to buy all sustainable menstrual products.
February 4, 2018 at 3:17 pm
Indeed very good information and nice article. But all these pads should b available easily at all medical stores, general stores, super markets, malls like other so called branded and costly pads which are not environment friendly. I think only information will not solve the purpose. Please also let us know the source.
February 4, 2018 at 11:17 pm
Sathi pads are really bulky and hardly absorbent. Very poorly designed period management option.
Also goonj pads aren’t the best for a hectic life either.