June 28, 2022

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Biodergadable sanitary napkins from banana stems, India’s solution to the waste problem

The waste problem must be taken seriously today. The increase in population is in line with the waste produced so that it has great potential to increase global warming. India is the second most populous country in the world with a total population of 1.38 billion. Every resident produces a large amount of waste that becomes a pile that endangers society and the environment. Lots of moves Zero Waste has been predicted to be able to overcome the waste problem, but it is not enough. There needs to be innovations that can control both organic and inorganic waste. One of the trash that definitely exists and cannot be recycled is sanitary napkins.

Sanitary napkins have become a mandatory requirement for women. As a densely populated country, not all access to sanitary napkins can be obtained by women. Only 3 out of 5 female residents in India have the opportunity to use sanitary napkins, the rest only use cloth as a substitute. The use of cloth is classified as unhygienic and dangerous for women’s health. However, the use of single-use sanitary napkins can also cause unmitigated waste.

What if for example the sanitary napkins used can be degraded in nature? Good choice, right?

Women have access to sanitary napkins and have a positive impact on the environment.

In India, the banana plant is one of the most widely cultivated crops. With an area of ​​thousands of hectares, banana plants also produce a large amount of waste. Classified as seasonal crops, after producing fruit in the first year, banana plants can no longer bear fruit. Therefore, farmers cut down banana trees to rejuvenate them with new banana plants.

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This results in the accumulation of banana stem waste that cannot be processed optimally. Though the banana plant has many hidden benefits that can be managed. Such as the nutritional content of banana stems which can be managed into compost and liquid fertilizer that has high nutrients. Banana fibers that are turned into decorations or crafts, and many others.

Chirag Desai is a researcher who researches banana waste and has succeeded in producing several products from banana waste such as liquid fertilizer, cloth, and even candy. Based on the results of his research, Chirag said that banana stem waste can be used as sanitary napkins if processed properly. The idea was well received by Kristin Kagetsu and Tarun Botlia, Founder of Saathi.

Saathi started to develop biodegradable sanitary napkins made from banana stems. The first step for making sanitary napkins is cutting the banana stems from the garden and then cutting them into two parts. Banana stems are separated per layer, with this machine the banana stem layers are processed into fiber. The fiber will be dried for processing.

After drying the fibers will be cut into small sizes and processed into fine fibers. This fine fiber is the basic material for making sanitary napkins. Glue and Plastic parts are also made from biodegradable materials. Likewise with packaging that does not use plastic at all. Saathi sanitary napkins utilize 100% natural materials that can be decomposed for 6 months after use if buried in the ground.

This banana stem dressing can be an application of a circular economy that is a solution to the problem of organic and inorganic waste as well as making a profit. Interested in trying it? You can directly visit the website www.saathipads.com.

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