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How to Dispose Sanitary Pads: 7 Methods for Sanitary Pad Disposal

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We’ve all been taught to be kinder to the planet – but the wrong disposal of sanitary pads can be detrimental to the planet, and the beings in it. Menstrual hygiene is not just about the use of sanitary pads, but also about their safe and hygienic disposal.

This is the topic of today’s blog: How to dispose of your sanitary pads properly, and why it’s a matter of great importance.

About Menstrual Waste

Effectively managing menstrual waste, including used sanitary pads and other hygiene products, is paramount for maintaining proper menstrual hygiene. In addition to the personal benefits, proper sanitary pad disposal practices contribute significantly to environmental well-being.

Harmful Effects on the Environment

Improper disposal of menstrual waste can have severe consequences on the environment, particularly when it comes to sanitary pad disposal. The materials involved, such as plastics and non-biodegradable components, pose a substantial threat to ecosystems and can accumulate in landfills. The slow decomposition of plastic releases harmful chemicals into the soil and water, underscoring the urgency of understanding how to dispose of sanitary pads responsibly.

Beyond plastic pollution, the organic matter in menstrual waste can contribute to the release of greenhouse gases during decomposition in landfills, further worsening environmental concerns. The visual impact of improperly disposed of menstrual waste in public spaces adds to environmental degradation, emphasising the critical need for responsible disposal practices.

Sanitary Pad Disposal: Why Is It Important to Properly Dispose of Sanitary Pads?

When it comes to handling a used sanitary pad, things can get quite messy, but things shouldn’t actually get messy if you do it the right way.

On an individual level, not only can your pad attract pesky flies with its smell, but the exposed menstrual blood can also harbor a breeding ground for all sorts of unholy germs. If you have a nosy pet, or a curious child at your house, you wouldn’t want them poking around in the trash and pulling out the pads. Even though periods are a result of a natural process everybody is taught to embrace, nobody wants to open their or somebody else’s bin (we’re talking about sanitation workers) and be greeted with menstrual blood.

But it’s not just a matter of personal comfort and convenience. The only way to safely dispose of sanitary pads is to incinerate them or expose them to severe heat to kill the germs and pathogens thriving on the pad. Now you wouldn’t microwave your pad, would you? And to top it all off, people throw away their open pads along with their household waste. This should be a mortal sin.

Now, let’s take a moment to think about the effort it takes to manually separate these pads from other waste for safe disposal.

So, what’s the move? What is the best way to dispose sanitary pads? For starters, we can wrap the pads up in a newspaper to make it easier for everyone involved. When sanitary pads aren’t disposed of properly, it exposes sanitation workers and waste pickers to harmful germs that can cause illness and disease. By taking the small step of wrapping them up, we can make things safer and easier for everyone involved.

You’re Disposing Your Sanitary Pad Wrong!

Sanitary Waste Disposal Methods

Here’s how you dispose of your sanitary pad properly:

1. Roll the pad into itself

When you’re ready to change your sanitary pad, remove it from your panty carefully. Starting from one end, roll the pad tightly and neatly, and work your way to the other end. Make sure the bloodied side is inside and the adhesive part is on the outside.

2. Wrap the pad in paper

Now wrap the rolled sanitary pad securely in a newspaper or toilet paper before throwing it in your bin. This not only prevents odor, germs, and flies but also protects waste pickers who may come into contact with it later.

3. Have a separate biohazard bin

While most homes have separate bins for wet and dry waste, sanitary pads belong in neither. Due to their potentially infectious nature, sanitary pads are classified as biohazards, along with medical wastes.

So, have a separate bin specifically for sanitary pads and other biohazardous wastes. Make sure to pick a bin with a lid to prevent curious children and pets from getting their hands/paws on the waste.

4. Wash your hands

Once you’re done, wash your hands with soap and water. This is basic, and not explained further.

5. Don’t flush sanitary pads

I mean, isn’t it a thumb rule that sanitary pads shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet as it can clog the drainage?? Before that, isn’t it common sense!?

Do not flush sanitary pads down the toilet, kids. Unless you want your house to be flooded with waste due to drain blockage.

Disposing of sanitary pads in different situations

Now that we’ve seen how to dispose of sanitary pads properly, let’s look at how to dispose of sanitary pads in different situations.

1. Disposal of sanitary pads when outside

Disposing of sanitary pads at a friend’s house or outside is no different from disposing of sanitary pads at home. Wrap it up safely and discard it in a dustbin, it’s never a pleasant sight to open your bin and see someone’s menstrual blood.

2. Disposal of sanitary pads in a village

Wondering how to dispose of sanitary pads in a village? Find out if your village already has a sanitary pad disposal system. If not, a popular method in villages is to put your used pads inside an earthen pot, seal it shut, and bury it in the soil far away from water resources. Read this article from The Week to learn how a 19-year-old girl and her villagefolk incinerate pads in a homemade incinerator.

Sanitary pad disposal on the last day of the period

If at the end of the last day, you notice that you didn’t bleed and the sanitary pad wasn’t necessary at all, DO NOT meet it like a used paper plate, you’re not feeding the crows here. Wrap it and discard it separately like you always do.

This blog was an attempt to help you transform yourself into a smart consumer of period hygiene products. Because it is a little in your hands what impact you want to have on your surroundings.

FAQs Related to Sanitary Pad Disposal

  1. How do you dispose of sanitary pads in rural areas?

In rural areas where there is a lack of facilities for proper disposal of sanitary pads, manual pit burning, or incineration is the best option.

  1. How do you dispose of sanitary products at home?

Here’s how to dispose of sanitary pads at home:

  • Roll the sanitary product into itself.
  • Wrap it in a newspaper or toilet paper.
  • Throw it in a separate biohazard bin
  • And wash your hands.

    3. Why is it important to dispose of pads?

It is important to dispose of sanitary pads properly to prevent the spread of harmful germs and pathogens that can cause illness and disease. When used sanitary pads are left out in the open, they can attract pests such as flies and rodents that can spread these germs to other surfaces and potentially harm human health.

  1. What is the best way to dispose of sanitary pads?

The best way to dispose of sanitary pads includes the following steps:

  • Roll the pad into itself, with the bloodied surface inside
  • Secure it in a paper wrap
  • Dispose of it in a disposal bin

This responsible approach ensures effective containment of menstrual waste, preventing environmental harm and the spread of infections. Knowing how to dispose sanitary napkins is crucial for maintaining a healthy environment.

  1. Can I throw my pads in the toilet?

No, it is not advisable to flush sanitary pads down the toilet. Flushing pads can lead to plumbing issues and contribute to environmental pollution. Read the blog to understand how to dispose sanitary pads at home the right way!

  1. Do sanitary pads go into general waste?

Sanitary pads should never be placed in general waste bins. Due to their non-biodegradable components, improper disposal of menstrual waste can contribute to environmental pollution. It is important to use designated sanitary disposal bins or follow specific guidelines for sanitary pad disposal provided by local waste management systems.

  1. Can we burn used sanitary pads?

Burning used sanitary pads is not recommended. The combustion of pads releases harmful chemicals into the air, posing health risks. Additionally, the non-biodegradable components may not fully disintegrate, contributing to air pollution. It is advisable to adhere to proper disposal methods, such as wrapping and disposing of pads in dedicated bins, and understanding the best way to dispose of sanitary pads responsibly.

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