In today’s world, where environmental consciousness and personal well-being are paramount, it is crucial to consider the products we use, particularly those that directly affect our bodies. One such product is sanitary pads, which play a vital role in women’s lives during their menstrual cycles. However, the conventional pads available in the market often contain harmful chemicals and synthetic materials that not only pose risks to our health but also contribute to environmental pollution. Thankfully, there is a better alternative – organic biodegradable sanitary pads. These pads not only ensure our safety but also support sustainable practices. In this article, we will delve into the benefits of making the switch to eco-friendly sanitary pads and explore how they can protect both the planet and your health.
The Hazards of Conventional Pads and the Need for Change
- The hazards associated with conventional pads extend beyond their impact on the environment. Non-biodegradable pads contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), phthalates, and other harmful substances. These chemicals can have severe consequences for our health. Short-term exposure to VOCs can lead to irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, visual disorders, and memory problems. Long-term exposure can induce nausea, fatigue, loss of coordination, damage to vital organs like the liver and kidneys, and even increase the risk of cancer.
- Non-biodegradable pads take an astonishing 500-800 years to decompose, burdening our landfills and contributing to long-term environmental degradation
- Moreover, the blood in reusable pads acts as a nutrient culture for microorganisms to grow, which can lead to the development of various diseases. It is crucial to address this issue and seek safer alternatives.
Understanding the Scale of the Problem
Let’s take a moment to comprehend the sheer magnitude of the problem we face. In India, approximately 121 million women and girls use an average of eight disposable pads per month, resulting in a staggering 1.021 billion pads wasted monthly and 12.3 billion pads discarded annually. This amounts to a whopping 113,000 metric tons of menstrual waste each year (Bhor and Ponkshe 2018; PATH 2017).
Menstrual Hygiene Alliance’s data of India reveals that 45% of the menstrual waste collected across the country, primarily consisting of sanitary napkins, is disposed of as routine waste along with other household garbage. Shockingly, 13% of menstrual waste is irresponsibly thrown in open spaces such as rivers, wells, lakes, and by the roadside. Additionally, 10% is improperly disposed of in toilets, 9% is burned, and 8% is buried (MHAI). This data clearly states the need for switching to organic sanitary pads.
The Solution: Organic Biodegradable Sanitary Pads
Organic sanitary pads offer a sustainable and safe solution to the problems associated with conventional pads. These eco-friendly sanitary pads are made from natural and renewable resources, such as organic cotton, ensuring that they are free from harmful chemicals and synthetic additives. Unlike their non-biodegradable counterparts, biodegradable pads decompose naturally within a shorter time frame, reducing the burden on landfills and preventing the accumulation of plastic waste.
In addition to organic pads, reusable pads are also gaining popularity as a sustainable alternative. Reusable eco friendly sanitary pads are made from soft and absorbent materials that can be washed and reused. Not only do they eliminate the need for disposable pads, but they also help reduce waste significantly. However, it is crucial to maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness when using reusable pads to avoid any potential health risks.
Benefits of Biodegradable Sanitary Pads
- Safe and Chemical-Free: Eco – friendly sanitary pads are made from natural materials like organic cotton. They do not contain chlorine, dioxins, or other harmful chemicals often found in conventional pads. This reduces the risk of skin irritation, allergies, and other health complications.
- Environmentally Friendly: One of the most significant advantages of organic sanitary pads is their eco-friendly nature. Unlike regular pads that take 500-800 years to decompose, these pads break down naturally within a shorter time frame, reducing the burden on landfills and the overall accumulation of plastic waste.
- Sustainable and Renewable: Organic cotton used in these pads is cultivated without the use of synthetic pesticides or fertilisers, making it a sustainable and renewable resource. By supporting organic cotton production, you contribute to a more environmentally friendly and socially responsible industry.
- Comfort and Absorbency: Comfort and optimal absorbency is the key feature of these sanitary pads. They provide reliable protection while ensuring breathability, minimizing discomfort during menstruation.
Best Organic Sanitary Pads
If you are looking for organic cotton pads for periods in India, then you can purchase from the following brands.
- Offers ultra-thin, soft and fragrance free pads made from organic cotton.
- Promotes comfort and eco-friendliness.
- Offer different types of pads depending on the flow.
- Provides biodegradable pads crafted from organic cotton and bamboo pulp.
- Ensures skin safety and ecological responsibility.
- Come with individual disposable bags.
- Offers organic cotton and bamboo fibre based pads designed for ultimate comfort.
- Free from harmful chemicals.
- HAs antimicrobial properties.
- Provides gentle and toxin-free corn fibre based pads.
- Emphasises sustainability and women’s health.
To dispose of organic pads one can consider composting. Organic pads, made from materials like organic cotton or other biodegradable materials, can break down naturally over time when properly composted. Here’s how you can compost them.
- Remove non-biodegradable components, such as adhesive strips or plastic wrappers.
- Shred the organic pads into smaller pieces.
- Place the pads in a compost bin or pile along with other organic waste.
- Ensure proper moisture and aeration for decomposition.
- Over time, the organic pads will break down and turn into nutrient-rich compost.
- Use the compost to enrich the soil for plants and gardens.
Apart from composting, you can also wrap the used pad in a biodegradable wrapper or paper and dispose of them in a designated composting or green waste bin.
The switch to organic biodegradable sanitary pads and reusable pads is not just a matter of personal choice; it is an act of responsibility towards our planet and ourselves. The alarming amount of menstrual waste generated each year necessitates immediate action. By making this switch, we protect the planet by reducing plastic waste, conserving resources, and preventing harmful chemicals from polluting our environment. Simultaneously, we safeguard our health by avoiding exposure to toxins and promoting a sustainable and hygienic menstrual hygiene routine. Let’s embrace this change and create a future where menstruation is safe, healthy, and environmentally conscious.