Girls after puberty experience periods from time to time, which does cause them great inconvenience, a fact that is agreed by all women on Earth. But trying to dispose of those used sanitary pads can be all the more troublesome. Using tampons also is not much convenient, since an equal amount of effort will be necessary to dispose of these toxic wastes. Hence, this issue definitely is a grave concern for not only women across the globe, but also for everyone, as this form of toxic Sanitary Napkin Disposal will only mean increase contaminants in the environment, creating hazards for years to come. Although surveys conducted in developing countries like India have shown that 12% of women only make use of sanitary pads, still this small percentage generates tonnes of waste that needs to be dealt with.
Issues with the conventional disposable method
Women, in general, have developed the habit to wrap the soiled sanitary paid within polythene or newspaper and throw it away at a nearby landfill or the garbage bin that they first come across on the way, so that it remains hidden.
The question that many tend to ask is what exactly happens to the soiled napkins once they get picked up by the concerned civic authorities. These wastes are actually carried to the city outskirts, where they manually are segregated by the rag or waste pickers and then buried in the landfill eventually. The reason is that still now, people are not aware of the correct and safe way to dispose of the used pads or the problems that arise with it.
According to the environmental and health experts, the ramifications of continued conventional practice are undoubtedly horrible. The pads are made from plastic materials and non-biodegradable. This effectively means, it will be in within the landfill for several hundred years before starting to decompose.
An informal way practiced used to destroy sanitary napkins is to burn it in the open. However, the fumes that emerge from this burning process are known to contain harmful toxic gases such as furans and dioxins. Air has already been polluted due to these contaminants and other aspects. Hence, if adequate action is not taken for its safe disposal, then the problem in the near future will only get manifolds, causing a severe environmental disaster. There is a genuine need to adopt sustainable and eco-friendly methods to dispose of the used sanitary pads.
The waste pickers are considered to be the first ones to segregate the non-biodegradable and biodegradable wastes. Unfortunately, they are not provided with gloves or face masks to carry out their tasks. This effectively means that they come into contact with different kinds of microorganisms that thrive within the soiled pads. Hence, they get exposed to unwanted diseases like staphylococcus, salmonella, E. Coli, and pathogens causing tetanus and hepatitis.
How to change this dreadful situation?
There has been introduced a safe way to dispose of the used and toxic sanitary waste by incinerating them in a sanitary napkin burner. It will be wise to do some research about them and find out the details as to how they are safe and secure.