In several counties across the world, there is noticed lack in knowledge among women about safe menstrual wastage disposal. Although many countries have managed to come up with techniques to manage urinary and faecal wastes, lack of appropriate menstrual management practices is what has been causing women to dispose such wastes into the garbage bins or domestic solid wastes. Toilet facilities in majority of the developing countries still lack in bins to dispose safely sanitary pads including hand washing facilities for the menstruating women to manage better menstrual hygiene.

Disposal methods followed by women of all ages in urban and rural areas

Modern disposable products are being used in the urban areas that are disposed simply by flushing them through the toilets or throwing in the dustbin collected by the garbage collector. Women in the rural areas follow disposal practices like burning, burying or throwing them in pit latrines or garbage. They mostly make use of non-commercial and reusable sanitary materials such as reusable cloths or pads. This way, they tend to generate lesser menstrual wastes when compared to urban women, who rely more on commercial sanitary napkin disposal pads.

The menstrual material got disposed depending upon the used product type, disposal location and local cultural beliefs practiced. Women in slum areas, dispose of their wastes in pit latrines, since burial and burning is out of question because of lack of private space. They are afraid of being watched by men or the disposed item being used in witchcraft.

School girls find lack of facilities to dispose their used sanitary pads and hence, flush them in toilets. They may even throw away the menstrual clothes after use without actually washing them. Many also can be noticed to refrain from going to school because of lack of proper disposal system. Some schools may have introduced Sanitary Napkin Incinerator like incinerators to dispose safely menstrual waste material. However, girls may feel shy to use or fear of others viewing it and hence, avoid using such modern techniques.

The fact is that the behaviour shown by women with regards to disposal of menstrual wastes is quite different from what is being practiced at the home and away. They simply wrap the used ones in paper and throw it in the dustbin at home along with domestic wastes. But, when outside, they throw it outside anywhere where there is no one in view or the roadside garbage wrapped in paper or at toilet corners. This only creates a breeding place for mosquitoes, flies and pathogens, thus making the surrounding unhygienic and dangerous as people get susceptible to experiencing diseases. There have also been reports of drains and public toilets getting blocked due to flushing of rags or pads in the toilet.


Majority of the women and their families are not aware of the importance of safe and proper disposal menstrual wastes. Materials such as cotton wool, tampons, toilet paper along with other organic materials to manage menstrual activities can decompose quickly in landfills and pit latrines. But plastic inlay found in commercial pads take a lot of time to decompose, thereby only causing more to the environment and health.

Author's Bio: 

John Smith is a Digital Marketing Consultant with more than 8 years of experience in SEO, SEM, SMO, blogging, etc having wide knowledge base into content marketing.