In India, sanitary waste disposal is a complicated subject. The fact that it is still mostly taboo and carries a lot of social stigmas further adds to its complexity and makes finding effective solutions more difficult, which is why most women avoid discussing proper disposal methods. This in itself is terrible when you consider how many people in India are directly touched by the issue, much alone how many people are indirectly harmed by inappropriate menstruation disposal on top of that.
However, it is vital to remember that improper sanitary napkin disposal is harmful to the environment, and read further to understand the best way to dispose of sanitary napkins.
The country’s progress is hampered by taboos and social stigma.
The Indian government’s aversion to openly discussing menstruation determines how women dispose of their sanitary waste. According to the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), more than 350 million Indian women and girls feel ashamed, uncomfortable, and often unsafe every month because they struggle to manage their periods and try to hide the truth from everyone.
Because of this humiliation, many people are left to cope with the problem alone, unwilling to voice their concerns, and facilities for appropriately disposing of sanitary waste are at best ineffective, at worst damaging and dangerous, and in many cases, non-existent.
Why is it important to properly dispose of sanitary pads?
There are numerous reasons to properly dispose of used sanitary napkins. A filthy sanitary napkin might smell bad and attract flies on an individual level. Germs thrive in an atmosphere where blood has been exposed.
If you have pets or eager children in the house, it’s especially important to discourage them from delving into the bins and taking out the pads. Furthermore, while a soiled sanitary pad is the result of a normal process, many individuals feel disgusted by the proximity of human fluids being discharged.
Let’s take a look at the big picture now. It’s important to note that, in addition to cotton, sanitary napkins include plastic and other substances. These pads are not eco-friendly because the plastic composition is non-biodegradable. The 90 percent plastic content of these sanitary napkins keeps them there for 500-800 years.
Medical wastes such as sanitary napkins, according to the Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules of 1998, should be incarcerated or exposed to extreme heat to kill pathogens, which does not happen. Instead, they are thrown as domestic waste and must be manually separated from other recyclables. Before the pads are buried in landfills outside of cities, the garbage pickers are exposed to microorganisms.
Sanitary waste disposal is a public health and human rights concern that impacts the entire country. Because there is currently no standardized way of environmentally friendly sanitary waste disposal, every menstrual product discarded pollutes the earth, air, or water.
How do you properly dispose of sanitary pads?
| When It’s Time to Replace Your Pad
You can wrap your used pad in the wrapper of the new pad you just slipped in your underpants if you’re changing your pad (i.e. putting a fresh new pad on after taking a used one-off).
For this reason, sanitary pad wrappers always include a handy tab closure. Simply take your used pad and place it in the wrapper, roll it up, and fasten it with the tab. Then toss it in the trash and wash your hands. It’s simple enough!
| How to Get Rid of Sanitary Pads When You’re Not Using Them
If you’re not changing your pad since it’s the end of your period, roll it up so none of the menstrual fluid is visible, and then throw it away. Before throwing your pad in the trash, you might want to wrap it in toilet paper.
Best Way to Dispose of Sanitary Napkins in Public Restrooms
1) Sanitary Napkin Disposal Machine
A Sanitary napkin disposal machine is a bin for Biohazards There are separate containers for dry and moist garbage in most public places. It is important to recognize that soiled sanitary napkins belong to neither of these groups. They’re considered biohazardous garbage. As a result, the first step in safely disposing of sanitary napkins is to keep a separate bin for them.
2) Throwaway bag inside the bin
Line your bin with a disposable lining and place used napkins inside. This will keep the soiled pads from being dumped into the collected rubbish and mixed in with the rest of the dry/wet garbage. This bag should be labeled as “biohazard garbage.” Every two days, toss them out.
3) Fold and Wrap the Napkins
Fold and wrap the menstrual pad carefully in toilet paper before discarding it. You might also wrap it in the plastic or paper cover of the next pad you’ll use. This will not only keep the stink, bacteria, and flies away from the unattractive pads, but it will also keep them covered.
Make sure the bin you’re dumping the sanitary napkins into has a lid. Fold the bag’s mouth inside to close it every time you discard a used pad, and then cover the bin firmly. It will also deter curious children or playful pets from peering into the containers. This will also keep odors and insects at bay. However, there is a dedicated sanitary napkin disposal machine in the public restroom, you won’t have to worry much about the odors.
5) Don’t Flush
It’s a no-no to flush a sanitary napkin. They have the potential to jam the pipeline, resulting in an overflow.
When using tampons instead of sanitary napkins, the measures for sterile disposal are the same, and for the same reasons. Of course, if you’re concerned that, despite your efforts, using sanitary napkins will affect the environment or those who deal with them, you can always switch to reusable menstrual cups, which last for 10 years. However, if you believe that sanitary napkins are your best alternative at the present, you must make every effort to properly dispose of them.
India can no longer shirk its responsibilities to find a solution to its sanitary waste problem, as many women are compelled to do with their menstruation pads across the country. The level of awareness must continue to rise for society to be obliged to take action. Because you have complete control over the impact you wish to create on your environment. You may make a good effect on the environment and society at large by making a wise decision.