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Menstrual Products & Their Disposal

TitleMenstrual Products & Their Disposal
Publication Type Research Reports
Year of Publication2021
Keywords

menstrual wasteplasticPPEwasteincineratorenvironmentsanitation workerswaste collectorslandfillsdisposal methodsExtended Producer ResponsibilityWhisperStayfreetamponsorganic padshygienehealth risknon-segregationrecyclingmicroplasticinfectious diseaseshousehold wastenon-biodegradablewomenplastic pollutionNGOToxicslinkDelhiIndiasurveysolid waste rulesphthalateschemicalsmanual handlingrulesCPCBmunicipal wasteawarenesstechnologydecomposehousehold wasteinorganicpricingeco-friendly

Abstract

12.3 billion or 113,000 tonnes of used sanitary pads are dumped in landfills in India every year, adding to the already existing plastic pollution in the country.The study titled 'Menstrual Products and their Disposal'raises serious concerns on improper disposal methods and non-segregation of menstrual waste from household waste, which leads to unhygienic working conditions for waste workers, and poses the risk of infectious diseases among them.The survey, done during the study, clearly shows that disposable sanitary napkins are the most popular choice among women, who are using commercially available products in India, and hence results in huge amounts of waste. The study further reveals that most women are unaware that commonly available disposable sanitary napkins constitute 90% plastic and they are adding to the plastic crisis. The study found that currently there is no proper management or recycling of this non-biodegradable waste, and hence it ends up in landfills, where it stays for centuries and over the years will add to the microplastic pollution.Another major concern raised in the report is over the presence of several harmful chemicals in the products, which may create health risks.The waste workers who were interviewed during the survey in Delhi disclosed that sanitary waste is 100% non-segregated at the municipal level and almost all of it reaches the landfills. Also, most of the waste handlers are forced to work in unhygienic conditions, handling sanitary waste without adequate PPE.

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