Demanding P&G to Make Whisper Sanitary Pad Biodegradable by 2023. #SustainableWhisper

Demanding P&G to Make Whisper Sanitary Pad Biodegradable by 2023. #SustainableWhisper

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Purnima Khandelwal started this petition to Procter & Gamble and

I never thought about a used menstrual pad/napkin once it was in my dustbin; it was someone else’s burden. I never questioned the products I used, assuming they served the prime purpose of helping me during the difficult days; they had to be harmless. The rashes, itchiness, and a host of other lady-part issues were a small price to pay and were normalized. And yes, I am also guilty of looking down upon using traditional cloth instead of modern pads. 

Now, I am angry, ashamed, and dismayed that it took me this long to realize that I have unknowingly been an accomplice to big corporates in causing tonnes of damage to my body and environment. My search for an alternative sustainable menstrual product, failing to use the holy menstrual cup successfully, and buying expensive bio-degradable alternatives; led me to realize just how deep, complex, multifaceted, and ignored are the issues surrounding menstruation in India

I am dismayed because stakeholders across the board – governments and municipalities, menstrual product researchers and manufacturers, civil society organizations, and menstruators themselves- have failed to recognize the issues. Except perhaps our sanitation workers who have picked up mine and your bio-medical wastes with bare hands, transported them to the outskirts of my beloved cities; and dumped onto the majestic landfills, all while exposing themselves to pathogens.

Right now, we are choking our landfills, water bodies, and their micro-plastics are entering our food chain, and non-biodegradable pads are playing a huge role. The oxo-biodegradable pads distributed by the Government of India under the Suvidha Scheme have not even cleared environmental safety standards! Under such circumstances, it is the responsibility of empowered and privileged citizens to bring change collectively. 

In this medley of varying traditions, practices, policies, awareness, myths, and capital interests, health services and rights have become simple tools of manipulation and greed. Commercial manufactures have perfected the art of supplying convenient and faulty solutions and creating a permanent market for themselves. Menstruation has come to be synonymous with plastic and chemical-laden menstrual pads. It may then come as no surprise that the Feminine Hygiene industry is worth $70.2 billion in India.

While we cannot make everything ‘right’, we can at least begin somewhere. 

My petition is about a specific issue that has a tangible solution:

All our menstrual products should be eco-friendly, and since the majority of the menstruating population (36% or 121 million people) uses commercial, non-biodegradable menstrual pads and dumps 12.3 billion worth of pads every year, it is incumbent upon to demand that the menstrual product manufactures step up, invest in research and development and produces biodegradable menstrual pads.

Indeed, menstrual waste mismanagement cannot reverse just by making pads biodegradable. That would require a systemic overhaul, including but not limited to:

  • An expansion in the range of affordable menstrual products – both traditional and modern,
  • Information-Education-Communication training on menstrual health and hygiene management in schools,
  • Unambiguous directives and implementation of health and environmental safety standards for products, 
  • Country-wide implementation of waste segregation practices, 
  • A change in policymakers’ orthodox mindset 

I, Purnima Khandelwal, am 28, have been a menstruator for 18.5 years; and I need your help. I need your help in demanding these conglomerates to fulfill their social responsibility and commit to sustainable menstruation. 

Sign my petition asking P&G to make pads under their brand, Whisper, biodegradable by 2023.


A short message for Procter & Gamble Hygiene and Health Care Limited

‘You have the wherewithal to make Whisper biodegradable. Please adapt to the changing times because today’s young menstruators are not afraid to exercise their right to choose and reject. So, do this for your current and future customer base and to step forward as a good corporate citizen.

For more information, please read this: Why Are There Plastics & Chemicals In My Menstrual Pad?

24,063 have signed. Let’s get to 25,000!
At 25,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!