Homegrown startups working on to deal with sanitary waste
Increasing awareness about menstrual hygiene has risked environmental safety. Menstrual hygiene is important, but how we are dealing with its waste is actually impacting the environment. Muruganantham Arunachalam, who is credited with having introduced a low-cost sanitary pad to the world, also made the pads from natural materials that were safe for the skin. But leading companies have been selling the pad, which is 90% plastic and costly as well.
If a pad takes 500–800 years to decompose and 12.3 billion sanitary pads are disposed of in landfills every year in India, the situation seems more alarming than you may think.
It’s necessary that we shift to eco-friendly menstrual care products and avoid anything that is neither safe for our health nor for the environment.
And as the present world faces difficulty dealing with the menstrual waste problem, these companies have come to the rescue. Currently, menstrual waste is either buried or incinerated. Incineration releases harmful toxins (around 380 kg of carbon into the atmosphere) and poses health risks.
But there are companies who figured out a way to deal with sanitary waste. See the list of homegrown startups working on to deal with sanitary waste problem.
1. Pad care labs
PadCare Labs, a Pune-based startup, was founded in 2018 by Ajinkya Dhariya.The startup aimed at providing menstrual waste management services, which could disinfect and shred this waste.
They have two products: SaniBin and SanEco. The pads are collected in bins, which are displayed across women’s hostels, washrooms, and other places in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The bin has a liner, which disinfects the pads and removes odors. Further, the pads are transferred to Saneco, where they are mechanically shredded and transformed into cellulose and plastic pallets. The rest of the menstrual waste (body fluid) is discarded into sewage systems, keeping the bacterial load within limits.
Official Website: https://www.padcarelabs.com/solution
2. Stree Sanman
Stree Sanman provides smokeless sanitary napkin incinerators. It has a smoke absorption unit that absorbs the smoke emitted from the incineration of discarded sanitary materials. This is helping to eliminate 98% of the smoke from the incinerator.
After two years of research, Priya and Anand Nikam established Stree Sanman in 2018 to deal with poor menstrual hygiene.
Official Website: https://www.streesanman.com/
Swati Bedekar, along with her husband, designed a clay incinerator to properly dispose of sanitary napkins. The incinerator burns used pads and converts them into ashes without spreading any smoke. The ash thus produced is mixed with soil to nourish plants. This product is cheap and is sold somewhere around 1500 rupees.
4. Tendril’s Pinkz
Founded in 2018, Tendril’s products are available in 53 cities and villages across India. Pinkz incinerators burn soiled pads to ash without emitting any gases. The incinerator has burning chambers, filters, and ash collectors. They sell automatic and semi-automatic incinerators for Rs 20,000 to 30,000.
Official Website: https://www.tendril.co.in
Instead of all this, why not to choose a product that is eco-friendly and is safe for your skin as well. See here for the list of other alternatives for green menstruation.
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