Sanitory pads are disposable and must be discarded after one use. Menstrual Health Alliance India states that 45% of the menstrual waste primarily sanitary napkins, is disposed of as routine waste along with another household garbage. 13% of menstrual waste is thrown in open spaces such as rivers, wells, lakes and by the roadside, followed by 10% disposed of in toilets, 17% is burnt or buried. This means that we are not only left to deal with alone menstrual hygiene issue but also the facilities where one can dispose of sanitary waste safely are at best ineffective, at worst harmful and dangerous, and much of the time, non-existent.
There is a big need to encourage adolescents right from school levels to practice safe and hygienic behaviors. Girls and women should be made aware of the consequences of disposing used menstrual products in open or flushing them in toilets. Specific sanitary dispensers to collect menstrual waste should be installed in public toilets. There should be enough space for changing or dealing with stained clothes. If possible, incinerators should be installed at homes, schools, and community levels.
Awareness must continue to rise, and actions must be taken. Period.