Allforasmile now supports GreenDispo – the only Safe Sanitary Waste Incinerator in India

 In We Care About Us!

From Sep 1, 2019, Allforasmile LLP is a distributor of the only safe wall-mountable incinerator in India – GreenDispo. For Allforasmile, which is at the forefront of reusable menstrual products movement, this action may seem contradictory. It is certainly counter-intuitive and hence this story!

In late 2018, I researched the subject of sanitary waste disposal. Obvious things that came out were:

  1. India is seeing an explosion in generation of sanitary waste
  2. There is growing awareness about the need to manage it at the point of generation
  3. There is a serious lack of awareness / technical information about the pros & cons of the most sought-after solution – incinerator!

I also did a detailed study of the incinerators infrastructure that PMC has put together in Pune. The findings were disturbing. The incinerators being run by PMC were doing more harm than good to Pune’s environment. I blogged about it. I was also lucky to get an opportunity to meet Pune’s Mayor and present our findings.

In a nutshell – if you are burning sanitary pads containing SAP (Super Absorbent Polymer) in an incinerator operating below 800 degree Celsius, you are releasing cancer causing gases (Dioxins and Furans) in the environment. This is well documented by WHO and many other publications of repute. Yet, no one seems to know this. Forget the general public, even the government officials that I talked with did not know of this detail. This includes people within Municipal SWM departments all the way up till very senior IAS officers sitting in New Delhi!

In April 2019, I attended a workshop at IIT-Bombay, conducted by its Centre for Policy Studies. I was a speaker talking about reusable sanitary pads. Among others, it was also attended by Dr. Nitin Labhsetwar, Sr Principal Scientist and Head, Energy and Resource Management Division, CSIR-NEERI (a gov of India lab). Through him, I got introduced to GreenDispo, an incinerator that was designed by his team and teams of DST-ARCI and Sowbal Aerothermics. This device works at 800+ degree Celsius, and thus, safe to use to burn used sanitary pads. So GreenDispo indeed presented a viable solution for the disposal of sanitary waste.

In May 2019, I attended an event organized by Menstrual Health Alliance of India, of which my organization is a member. It was a pleasure to interact with Who’s Who of the MHM pioneers in India at that event. Through our day-long discussions, it emerged that:

  1. Reusable Sanitary Products is the only real and long-term solution to manage the sanitary waste. There are several organisations working toward popularizing reusable products. However, challenges remain and it’s a long-drawn campaign.
  2. The challenge of sanitary waste is “Here & Now” and proliferation of poor quality incinerators is taking the situation to an entirely different level in terms of human health hazards.

So while Allforasmile was already working at one end of the solution spectrum (reusable products), the other end needed to be looked at urgently. The other end meant GreenDispo! It became clear to me that if we have to make a positive difference, we must be part of the solution. It was important for us to talk to public about safe incineration.  I was able to connect the dots and take an entirely counter intuitive decision – to support GreenDispo – an innovation by Indian Scientists. For enquiries related GreenDispo, call 960-4400-382.

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