Go closer to nature: How fibers like banana and bamboo are ecologically sound & also a viable option to plastic?
Bamboo and banana are inexpensive, healthy, and economical raw materials options for a variety of products. Bamboo is used for making furniture, bed sheets, blinds, paint brushes, bicycles, vegetable cutting boards, flooring, fencing, umbrellas, wall hanging, photo frame, wall clock, etc. Bamboo can also be used for making clothing and textiles. Since ancient times food was served on banana leaves, as the food absorbs the polyphenol which is said to prevent many lifestyle diseases. It is also noted that bamboo contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties that can possibly kill the germs in food and lead to good health. Bamboo and banana are also used for making handicrafts and paintings. But, one of the most important uses of these natural resources is making a sanitary pad out of them, something that's beneficial to both the user and the planet. Discover how they can benefit you in the following ways:
5 Reasons why we should opt for biodegradable sanitary pads:
Products that are made from natural and organic raw materials are healthy options. For instance, banana and bamboo fibers are a natural and better option than the plastic pads. Plastic takes years to decompose and is not completely biodegradable and safe for the planet, as vermicompost cannot be made out of it. Bananas and bamboo grow speedily. Hence, there is no fear of deforestation. When older trees are used, newer saplings are planted, which grow quickly, only to be used for the next round of products.
2. Made in India
Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi declared on 2nd October 2019 that India will ban single use plastic to become Zero-plastic India by 2022. Most of the plastic products we use on a daily basis are imported from abroad. It is time that we become "Vocal for Local". We need to buy from local manufacturers and encourage Indian startups.
India is blessed with bananas and bamboo. The forests and rural areas of Northeastern and Eastern India, the states of West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura have over 50% of the bamboo species of the Indian forest in the region. Himalayan region consists of boundaries of the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh (Himalayan part), Sikkim, North Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh is also rich with high altitude elements occurring under different eco-physiological conditions. These can be utilized for various eco-friendly industries and also for making biodegradable sanitary napkins, which are good for both the body and the environment, as they are biodegradable and compostable.
3. Employment to Locals
As bamboo, cotton, and bananas are available in abundance in India, the local population can be trained to make eco-friendly sanitary pads from such materials. Local women can be hired to make sanitary pads for themselves and other women within the country. It will generate employment. It has empowered women and made them economically independent. For instance, the National Mission on Bamboo Applications, a technology mission of the Indian government under the Department of Science and Technology, supports the project. Konkan Bamboo and Cane Development (konbac) are implementing the project. Production of bamboo pulp-based sanitary napkins started in May 2007 in Kudal, Maharashtra. Telangana is equally ready to set up the bamboo industry in the Southern state, after studying the Kudal model and considering its huge employment potential.
4. Plastic-free Planet
The word "Plastic" is derived from the Greek word "plastikos," which means "capable of being shaped or moulded" and in turn, from "plastos," meaning "moulded." As per the Oxford English Dictionary, the noun plastic is defined as "a light, strong material that is produced by chemical processes and can be formed into shapes when heated." Plastic is an extremely malleable material. Plastic along with wood pulp is used to make sanitary napkins, which are available at cheap rates at any chemist or grocery store. Many countries have banned single-use products of plastic like food containers, bags, straws and stirrers, sachets, cups, ice-cream wrappers, bottles, pens as well as conventional plastic sanitary pads.
Plastic was invented only a hundred years back. Since then it has destroyed the human bodies and our ecosystems. It does not decompose completely, leaving its traces behind to blemish the face of our dear planet. We call the Earth, our "Mother," who nourishes us. We come from the earth and return to it. How can we then pollute and disgrace it?
Ideally, used sanitary napkins should come under biomedical waste. But, since they are not included in the list of biomedical waste as per the Bio Medical Waste (Handling and Management) Rules, 1998, they are disposed of in dumping grounds. Every year, thousands of plastic bags and used sanitary pads are collected from garbage dumps and burned, giving rise to toxic air pollution worldwide. Therefore, plastic sanitary pads that are poisonous and hazardous to women’s reproductive health and Mother Earth must not be used.
Women have always complained about skin rashes, itching, foul odour as a direct result of these regular sanitary pads. The incessant and consistent use of such plastic sanitary pads can result in several serious issues of the women’s reproductive system including cancer. Still, young girls and older women are buying plastic sanitary pads, which turn out to be problematic in the long term. The best solution is to use an environment-friendly alternative, which is a biodegradable sanitary pads made from natural materials like bamboo, banana fiber, corn starch, paper, cotton to name a few, which are more absorbent than wood pulp and plastic.
Let us all support the Government of India's policies and campaigns of "Zero Plastic India" and "Make in India," by buying biodegradable and skin-friendly sanitary pads made in India. We at Saathi make eco-friendly biodegradable sanitary pads, which come from Nature, and go back to it harmoniously. It also provides livelihoods to many.
Let us know in the comments about the eco-friendly products made from bamboo and banana that you have used so far. We shall be happy to read it! Follow us on social media to know more about an eco-friendly period! A switch from plastic to an alternative that is harmless, can be a little slow but not impossible. Slow and steady wins the race!
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Saathi is an award winning social venture which has a patented technology to convert agri-waste into absorbent materials. Our sanitary pads are 100% biodegradable and compostable made from banana and bamboo fibers, which convert into compost in 6 months of its disposal. Saathi pads are good for the body🩸, community 🌎 and environment 🌱. We are on a mission to revolutionize the hygiene industry as a consumer products company that makes products in a sustainable and responsible way.
We are recognized by the UNESCO Green Citizens project, University of St. Andrews, Solar Impulse Foundation and Global Cleantech Innovation Program among others for our innovative, social impact and sustainable work. We are working towards United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12, 13, 3, 9, 5, 6, 8, and 14.
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If you can make a contribution to the #OneMillionPads initiative, visit our Give India Campaign here.