Biodegradable Sanitary Pads: Sanitary napkins are our life-savers during the menstrual phase and we can’t even measure how much they have benefited us. However, sanitary napkins have become a threat to the environment and depleting resources in an alarming rate as they don’t decompose and end up in the rivers, streams and even oceans imposing a serious threat to the eco-system.
Sanitary napkins are easily disposable but they leave behind an unpleasant environmental trail. Even the toxic chemicals used in these sanitary pads are carcinogenic and can discharge into the atmosphere.
But biodegradable napkins played the trump card in this regard. As the name suggests, all the components of these napkins are made from renewable and eco-friendly products like banana fibers which easily degrades in landfills and can be reused for compost and biogas. Even these products have no carbon footprint.
The idea of biodegradable sanitary pads
The idea of biodegradable sanitary pads was first introduced by an ‘MIT’ start-up that wanted to metamorphose the process of the production of sanitary pads and also its distribution across India along with an outstanding focus on its accessibility to rural women in the country where 88% of them use rags, newspapers, wood shaving and ash as substitutes to its polymer counterparts.
Meanwhile, manufacturing of these products has become a source of income for rural women. And also an additional income for farmers who wish to get rid of the waste banana fiber.
When it comes to menstrual hygiene in India, there are several barrages and cultural taboos which need to be overcome. Women’s use of hygienic products is inadequate due to lack of affordability, undersupply in rural areas, social stains, an absence of health education and issues with proper disposal and eco-friendly pads help curtail that.
About Suvidha Pads
To address these challenges, the government of India has launched a bio-degradable sanitary napkin called “Subidha” under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana [PMBJP] on March 8, 2018, which are oxo-biodegradable and are made available in packs of 4, priced at Rs 2.50 per pad in all Janaushadhi centers. These biodegradable pads will ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged women.
Thanks to the awareness, that the cultural taboos are slowly subsiding and “Subidha” have literally made it convenient for many. This move by the government is timely since there is a GST in sanitary napkins.
Though these napkins have multiple benefits, drawbacks should also be taken into count. It takes a prolonged period to manufacture them. The absorbing capacity and smell which are available in regular napkins are lacked here.
To end it all, access to menstrual health is not a privilege; it is a basic need. And biodegradable pads seem like the perfect plan if they flourish in India in the coming years.