We have just had a chat with parent and children at Gatina Primary School, Gatina Ward, Nairobi.
Just before talking with the parents, we distributed pieces of Safepad to the girls and asked them to feel it. As they were at it we said that ‘in her lifetime, an average woman uses 11,000 tampons, pads and panty liners that make up 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. If the waste does not clog storm water drains, it ends up in the ocean where it stays for 500 years while decomposing’. We then asked them whether they would use reusable Safepad. They said YES in unison. Being light, luxurious and stretchy; we were not surprised by a question – does it leak.
Another question was – will it not smell. This question was brought about by our instruction that soap is not needed in washing Safepad. Smell indicates presence of bacteria, fungi and the like. Safepad is designed with a permanently bonded antimicrobial technology based on a treatment that leaves a positively charged layer on the fabric. This layer attracts and kills the negatively charged microbes, like bacteria and fungi. The treatment does not contain any harmful chemicals.
Turning to parents, we quickly pointed out that switching from single use plastic isn’t as easy as we think, it often means thinking a bit more about what we buy. We asked them to think about the lots of money they would spend in 4 years on the huge amount of disposable plastic jettisoned into the environment. Why do we, without thinking, pick tampons from supermarket, put them into our handbag and dump related plastic wrapper into the bin?
It was difficult for the parents to accept fact that tampons and sanitary items are found in rivers, lakes and ocean. Besides the plastic wrappers an individual pad can contain up to four plastic bags’ worth of plastic.
They allowed us to distribute Safepad to the kids.