Sanitary Napkin Disposal Bags to be made mandatory from 2021

On March 8, 2020, the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javedekar announced that sanitary napkin disposal bags are to be made mandatory.

Highlights

The sanitary napkin manufacturers have to supply a biodegradable bag along with every napkin from January 2021. There are high possibilities for the “Swachhta Sevaks” or the women garbage collectors to get infected as they are handling the sanitary napkin wastes directly from the garbage.

The Minister also announced that sanitation and cleanliness norms are to be applied for all villages with population more than 3,000.

Legislation

The soiled diapers, napkins, blood-soaked cotton and condoms from the households are received by the municipal waste collectors. The Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) rules, 2000 makes it mandatory to dispose these wastes after segregating them biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste. However, some napkins contain layer of plastics and some don’t. Therefore, it is difficult to sort them.

According to Bio-Medical Waste (Management and Handling) rules, 1998, items that are contaminated with bodily fluids should be incinerated to destroy pathogens.

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