A Beginner's Guide to Sustainable Menstruation
Menstrual waste is an insidious landfill contributor. This is because most Indian women use regular sanitary napkins which contain 90% plastic. And thus, these pads take 500 to 800 years to decompose. Needless to say, we need to encourage sustainable menstruation.
Sadly, we Indians are yet to normalize periods and lower the stigma around it, let alone discuss sustainable menstruation.
But, is Menstrual Waste a big deal?
The issue gets even more worrying when the waste is not handled with proper measures. You may or may not be using an eco-friendly napkin, but the one you do use, do you discard it the right way? Or do you simply roll it in a newspaper/ pad cover and throw it along with the household waste?
Now I know that the extent of menstrual waste is lower as compared to other single-use plastics. However, the monthly disposal of 1 billion non-biodegradable pads makes it a BIG DEAL.
So the question arises - Is Sustainable Menstruation Possible?
If you make an effort to research, you will find that India has a bunch of thoughtful, learned groups of communities. The ones that produce eco products and promote sustainable menstruation. Today, I want to highlight one such community – Sparkle.
Sparkle’s effort in maintaining a circular economy is, without a doubt, praiseworthy. What makes them even more exceptional is their humanitarian side.
What impressed me - Buy One, Give One
It’s no secret that Indians still hold certain myths and stereotypes when it comes to menstruation. There’s also a huge number of females who have to compromise their basic needs just because of periods. It is clear that such problems exist due to a shortage of awareness.
About 23 million of girls in India drop out of school once they reach puberty. Some choose to take leave during periods. This is due to the unavailability of sanitary requirements. It goes without saying that the age-old menstrual stigma also encourages this move.
With an aim to do something about this issue, Sparkle introduced the initiative – Buy One, Give One.
Under the initiative, with each sale, the team donates pads to underprivileged girls and women. Sparkle works in collaboration with NGOs. They carry out workshops to educate rural women about menstrual hygiene, sustainable menstruation and distribute the necessary supplements. Staying true to their promise for human welfare, Sparkle has also donated around 1,00,000 sanitary napkins to the migrant workers during this pandemic.
- Switching to a different brand from the regular one may seem stressful. But once you give it a try, you will realize that it is easy.
- The fact that sanitary requirements can disrupt our ecosystems should bother us; and, we must consider menstrual waste as a major dilemma.
- Discard your sanitary waste with right precautions.
Let’s choose what is good for both, ourselves and our environment.