Kerala

Project to tackle menstrual waste

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Muhamma grama panchayat encourages women to switch to reusable pads

A regular sanitary napkin is made up of about 90% plastic, which is the equivalent of four plastic bags and could take between 500 to 800 years to degrade.

Trying to tackle the issue of menstrual waste head-on is the Muhamma grama panchayat in Alappuzha district.

With an aim to become the “first synthetic sanitary pad-free village in India”, the local body has come up with a project to manage menstrual waste by encouraging women to switch to reusable pads made of clothes and menstrual cups.

As part of the project, the grama panchayat will distribute cloth pads and menstrual cups to females in the local body.

Generating waste

“On an average, our local body is generating menstrual waste to the tune of more than one lakh synthetic sanitary pads on a monthly basis.

It has become a major threat to soil and water. The way to address the issue is to turn to eco-friendly alternatives. We will provide a maximum of four cloth pads and one menstrual cup to all women in the panchayat by collecting a nominal fee. This will make Muhamma a synthetic sanitary pad free village,” said, J. Jayalal, president, Muhamma grama panchayat.

Joint effort

To make the project a success by distributing required cloth pads and cups, the local body has joined hands with the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), a Bengaluru based non-profit organisation.

The distribution of cloth pads and cups will be completed in two months.

According to officials, a menstrual cup can be reused for a period of at least five years. In that way, one cup can replace more than 750 sanitary napkins.

“Sanitary napkins currently in use contain numerous harmful chemicals. When burned, it releases toxic fumes like dioxins that are harmful to human beings and the environment. Using cloth pads and cups minimise health issues and are eco-friendly.

A cloth pad can be reused for a period of 3-4 years,” said, C. Jayanthi, medical officer, Community Health Centre, Muhamma.

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Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 8:39:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/project-to-tackle-menstrual-waste/article30126312.ece

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