The Executive Director of Eco Balance (a Cameroonian non-profit organization), Ms Blessing Limbi, has urged women and young girls in Cameroon to adopt healthier and eco-friendly menstrual pads like cloth pads and cups.
Speaking to Voice of Nature News recently, Ms Limbi disclosed that the menstrual pads used by most women and young girls today increase menstrual wastes, which have negative effects on the environment. “A woman in her menstruation lifetime generates up to 150kg of disposable sanitary waste and most often, they are disposed in plastic bags. One disposable pad takes up to 800years to decompose in landfill. Again, burning them releases dioxins and furans, some of the most deadly toxins known to science into the atmosphere,” she explicated.
Besides the negative effects the pads used today have on the environment, the Eco Feminist said they are costly with associated unhealthy implications. “From an economic view point, a woman in Cameroon for example spends at least 500XAF (0.88 USD) on disposable pads every month. Health wise, disposable pads are often bleached with chlorine, which produces cancerous dioxins and many women experience allergic reactions when using them due to synthetic substances,” Ms Limbi explained.
As to the feasibility of the cloth pads and cup alternatives, she hinted that they are comfortable and sustainable.
As a build up to the 2019 World Menstrual Hygiene Day, her organization will train local tailors on how to produce cloth pads that are comfortable, affordable, beautiful and good for the body & the earth. Workshops to illustrate how they are used have also been planned.
‘It is a win-win for all’ she said. ‘Income for local tailors, savings for women/girls and spare the land the stress’. According to her, statistics from the National Institute of Statistics and the World Population Prospects, at least 6Million women and girls in Cameroon are of menstruation age. Everything being equal, if we all adopt eco-friendly menstrual practices, we will spare this land at least 30,000 tonnes of menstrual waste annually.
She implored women and young girls to take responsibility of their menstrual wastes, even as they look forward to celebrating this year’s edition of World Menstrual Hygiene Day, come May 29, 2019.
The Executive Director revealed that this is part of her organization’s work towards inducing zero waste in local communities. The zero waste concept of living according to her, goes beyond just segregate – reuse – reduce – recycle. “It incorporates principles of effective human and material resource utilization to avoid the conversion of discards into waste in a manner that revitalizes the local economy. It is all about ethics, efficiency and responsibility”.
First published by Voice of Nature News: www.voiceofnaturenews.info