10 Facts About Sanitary Waste Disposal in India
What is Sanitary Waste?
Sanitary waste is non-hazardous, non-radioactive waste material coming from human body in solid or liquid forms.
The sad thing is, people in our country still think of this topic as a taboo. Nobody talks about the proper disposal of sanitary pads.
We, at greenbin are set on breaking the monotony. We want to spread awareness that how hazardous these wastes can become, if not properly disposed.
One sad but true fact is, more than 75% of this sanitary waste is not even properly dumped.
We have compiled a list of 10 facts about sanitary waste in India and how to tackle with this problem:
- 432 million pads/sanitary napkins are getting generated in India annually, weighing around 9000 tonnes, having the potential to cover landfills spread over 24 hectares.
- 63% of woman in India admit that they don’t have any proper provision for disposing their sanitary waste. When asked, 75% of the girls admitted that they feel ashamed of disposing it with other domestic waste or giving it to waste pickers.
- More than 90% of sanitary napkins available in the market are made of crude oil plastic.
- These sanitary wastes not only disgust waste pickers but also come with some harmful effects. For example, when a survey was conducted over 95 Indian waste pickers by WHO, they found out that:
- 80% of them have eye problems
- 73% have respiratory ailments
- 40% have skin problems/infections
- 51% have gastrointestinal ailments
These figures prove that it is high time we start thinking about people who pick up our waste.
- Now the question is what can be done against this increasing sanitary waste dump and what can we, as commoners, do about it. To start with:
- Incineration: This is a step taken by our Government to reduce the sanitary dump. To enforce it, incinerators have been installed in various institutes. These incinerators convert the sanitary waste to sterile ash within a fraction of a second. This ash in turn, can be used as manure or can be flushed.
- Creating Awareness: It is the duty of every woman to teach her kid about the proper disposal of sanitary waste and why it is crucial. We can also educate people surrounding us about the repercussions of improper disposal of sanitary wastes.
- Taking this a step ahead, we, at greenbin aim to start a campaign for proper disposal of sanitary wastes by segregating them from other domestic wastes. Different color of garbage bags can be used for disposing sanitary pads (message us now if you feel such campaigns should be started and we will take it forward)
- An initiative has been taken by “Svachh” (an NGO) in order to segregate sanitary waste. They make bio-degradable sanitary garbage bags from used newspaper. These bags can be easily used to identify such kind of wastes, by waste pickers. Here is the image of bags made by Svachh.
- The “Red Dot Campaign”: A campaign has been started in Pune of the same name which provides a simpler solution to this. Wrap the waste product in a paper and draw a “Red Dot” to differentiate it. That way waste pickers will know what it contains and we can make sure that it is not accidentally opened by them.
- Manufacture biodegradable sanitary napkins: In 2007 Anita Malik designed sanitary napkins from bamboo pulp which are 300% more absorbent, easily compostable and safer than wood pulp.
- “TheCodeRed”: Again a great initiative taken by 3 young girls. They provide sanitary napkins to various orphanages in and around Kochi. Only 12% women in India have access to proper sanitary napkins. The remaining are relying on unhygienic and unhealthy means to cope up with their periods.
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Img Source: Yourstory