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Reusable eco sanitary pads yet to take off in Nepal

- KRISHANA PRASAIN, Kathmandu

Apr 8, 2019-

Eco sanitary pads have yet to take off in the market due to the lack of awareness regarding the product. Such pads are better than disposable sanitary pads in terms of quality, price and offer health and environmental benefits as well.

According to eco sanitary pad producers, these pads are affordable compared to the regular disposable sanitary pads as one can save more than Rs2,000 annually by reusing the eco pads for up to three years. The pads are made of cotton, which is comfortable, absorbent and lowers the chance of rashes and infection.

And given proper training, production of eco pads could become a good income generating sector for rural women while improving menstrual hygiene.   

Hope is Life Nepal, an organisation working for menstrual awareness and hygiene is producing around 40 eco pads per day. Samjhana Sharma, chairperson of Hope is Life Nepal said that she started producing eco sanitary pads with the concept of doing sustainable social entrepreneurship in Dallu, Farping.

“We are in the trial phase and the feedback received from customers so far is helping us to improve our product,” she said.

Similarly, Sharma has also been providing the eco pads free of cost to different women groups in local areas and collecting feedback from them.   

Sharma said that the money generated from sale of pads is being reinvested into the organisation to make more eco pads. There are 7 women currently working with her.

Named as ‘Maya Mamata’, the eco pads are priced at Rs200 per pad. The cost of production per pad is Rs195, Sharma revealed. She said that compared to non-disposable sanitary pads, it is cost effective and beneficial health wise.

The demand of eco pads in the country has been gradually increasing in recent years due to raising awareness of cancer and other women related health problems, she said.

Dharti Mata Sustainable Workshop has also been producing eco pads. The organisation sells Rs1 million worth of Love Lady Eco sanitary pads in the domestic market. Business is slow, but it is growing at the rate of 15 percent annually, said a women entrepreneur in the workshop.

The demand of eco pads is increasing in foreign countries due to its health and environmental benefits.

By buying these sanitary pads, customers also help to generate employment in rural Nepal and also assist in the promotion of women’s health through environment-friendly and female-friendly sanitary pads.

Meanwhile, the country imported sanitary pads and tempons of worth Rs1.15 billion during mid-July to mid-Jan in current fiscal year while the import stood at Rs806 million in same time period in the last fiscal year 2017-18. The country has been importing sanitary pads from India.

Published: 08-04-2019 10:32

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