Improper menstrual waste disposal is found to be a major roadblock for the country to achieve its mission to free the land and waters of toxic wastes that are generated on a day to day basis.

Reasons for problems arising from improper sanitary waste disposal

Improper Sanitary Napkin Disposal is termed to be problematic for various reasons, few of which are given below:

  • The very first aspect to take into consideration is that cloth napkins are being replaced by plastic sanitary pads in huge numbers. The material that is currently being used is stated to be non-biodegradable as it is made from plastic. Thus, used napkins can be found to be accumulated in the landfills in heaps, causing environmental hazards and pollution. At times, when thrown into sewers after use, is only likely to block drainage system. Again burning them only causes release of harmful toxins into the atmosphere. Therefore, it is definitely not environment friendly as it only adds to the impending problem. Women especially in the rural areas and those who are not in good financial condition are found to use mostly cloth napkins. They may either re-use them or dispose them incorrectly and in unhygienic manner.
  • Accumulated menstrual wastes comes with another problem, which is that menstrual blood that is soaked by the napkin tends to stagnate for longer period of time, thereby boosting pathogen growth in it. Plenty of bacteria is found to develop on stagnant menstrual blood like E. coli that multiples rapidly exponentially. Menstrual blood has red blood cells in it that nourishes bacteria and lets out a foul smell as they die. Sanitary wastes in heaps are excellent places for disease causing bacteria to grow on them, thus being a threat to the atmosphere and health of those in the nearby areas.

Need for proper sanitary napkin disposal

With improper sanitary napkin disposal becoming a great concern for authorities and environmentalists alike, this problem is to be dealt right from its base. Menstruation process in developing countries like India is regarded to be a taboo and a subject that is best left ignored. Young girls, including middle aged women do not know the problems that not taking care of hygiene will bring along due to improper sanitary pad disposal.

Hence, great efforts is to be made, so as to educate the entire population, thereby creating awareness with regards to disposing sanitary pads safely and correctly as well as to know the significance of taking care of menstrual hygiene. One such method that has been introduced lately is using sanitary napkin incinerator to burn off the used pads and ensuring that toxic gases are not released in air to pollute it.

Hostels, women’s bathrooms at public places, schools and other places should incorporate incinerators that are easily operable and functional. This will also allow women to change their pads frequently even when they are outside their home and eliminate the wastes the safe, environmental friendly way. Napkins are better incinerated immediately after use.