Problem: Feminine hygiene product generate extraordinary amounts of waste. Close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped into North American landfills every year. In India, more than half of India’s women and girls use disposable napkins, translating to 44.9 billion pads per year thrown away. In Pacific island countries, where waste often escapes to the ocean, this is a clear and present problem. Wrapped in a plastic bag, a feminine hygiene product can take centuries to biodegrade.
The carbon footprint from making disposable female hygiene products is also enormous: 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year – which is like burning 35 million barrels of oil.
Solution: To make a dent in the plastic tide by turning disposable feminine hygiene products into reusable.
Goals and Objectives: By producing and selling reusable sanitary pads that are durable and made of natural fibers, women and girls have an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to single use, disposable sanitary pads made of toxic plastic materials.
Implementation: Frances Angelica Salele and her business partner Isabell Rasch, who both work at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (S.P.R.E.P.), are first to market in Samoa – and the entire Pacific – with their startup MANA Care Products founded in 2018, affordable, sustainable and reusable cotton female hygiene products. The business offers women and girls an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to single-use, disposable sanitary pads made of toxic plastic materials. They plan to also provide employment to a team of women seamstresses who will manufacture the product.
Achievements: Angelica Salele, one of 12 winners of the UN Environment Asia-Pacific Low-Carbon Lifestyles Challenge.
For more information, read here: https://www.unenvironment.org/es/node/21821