Public awareness of the environmental and health impacts of different period products is very poor and is aggravated by the persistent taboo and shame around periods. (Photo:Representational/Pexels)
New Delhi: Clean India Journal has estimated that 432 million sanitary napkins are used annually in India and it generates 9000 tonnes of waste. As they have a plastic component, they take 500-800 years to decompose. Switch to a more environment-friendly alternative before it’s too late.
Switch to a menstrual cup
Menstrual cups are slowly gaining popularity. They are made of medical-grade silicone and are available in two sizes, depending upon the height and position of the cervix and the flow.
Irrespective of size, a menstrual cup can hold up to 12 hours of flow as compared to just 4-6 hours with a sanitary napkin. Menstrual cups are also environment-friendly. One cup can be used up to 10 years, as the flow just has to be emptied out. Sanitary napkins and tampons, on the other hand, have to be changed every 4 hours and thus leads to a pile-up of waste.
There are several brands of menstrual cups available in the Indian market today- She cup, Silky Cup, Mooncup, Rustic Arts, etc. Although, gynaecologists have warned women that menstrual cups are not suitable for those who have been advised not to use tampons.
Try out reusable pads
Women use an estimated 10,000 sanitary napkins in their lifetime. This means more environmental waste and more money spent each month. Used napkins cannot be recycled, it contributes to more landfills and also pose the risk of infection.
Women in India are gradually catching up to the trend of eco-friendly sanitary napkins. They are washable, reusable, and are available in a variety of styles and thicknesses.
Some brands also provide the alternative to make your own pad, best suited for your flow and needs. Cloth pads are chemical free and avoid the risk of skin diseases and fungal infections.
For those not comfortable with inserting a menstrual cup in their vagina, cloth pads made of bamboo and cotton are a great alternative.
Give period-proof underwear a shot
Those who want a more comfortable alternative to menstrual cups and pads, period-proof underwear can be a good alternative. This absorbent underwear eliminates the fear of stains and leakage. It is made from super-absorbent material and does not feel bulky.
Period-proof underwear is usually worn on days one 1 and 4 when the flow is comparatively lighter. They can also be coupled with sanitary napkins or tampons on days with the heavy flow to have a stain-free period.
Public awareness of the environmental and health impacts of different period products is very poor and exacerbated by the persistent taboo and shame around periods. Periods shouldn’t be a taboo subject, reported The Guardian.