The International Alliance of Waste Pickers is a union of waste picker organizations representing more than 460,000 workers across 34 countries
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Written by SWaCH Cooperative


Country India

October 16, 2013

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Each day waste pickers have to directly handle hundreds of soiled sanitary pads and diapers (baby and adult). This is not only degrading, but is also a threat to their health. SWaCH has designed a S.T. Dispo bag which is an identifiable newspaper bag for the appropriate disposal of soiled sanitary pads. However, there has been an urgent need to look into the appropriate disposal of soiled diapers as well.

Responding to this need, SWaCH has designed an identifiable label for the disposal of soiled diapers. Bright yellow in color, the label (which is in sticker form) should be adhered to bags containing soiled diapers.

The labels are priced at Rs. 2 per label and come in sheets of 10.

“This is a most welcome innovation. Once we see this label, we won’t have to open the bag to see if it contains any recyclables,” says Shobha Kamble, a SWaCH member working in Kasba peth.

Over the past two years SWaCH has been repeatedly trying to contact sanitary towels (S.T.s) and diaper manufacturing companies to discuss sustainable methods of disposal of their products. According to the provisions of Extended Producer’s Responsibility (EPR) included in the Plastic Waste (Management and Handling) Rules 2011, notified by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 4th February, 2011, the producers are required to finance, and organize a system for environmentally sound management of waste (especially non-biodegradable waste) generated from their products and to take responsibility for the end of life of their products Sanitary pads and diapers cannot be recycled and are not biodegradable either. Companies need to look into the entire life cycle of their products – this includes issues related to direct handling as well as sustainable disposal.

Waste pickers are suffering due to the complete inaction of these manufacturing companies. SWaCH therefore has time and again had to develop strategies and products to ensure that the health and dignity of waste pickers is preserved. This diaper disposal label is another step in this direction.

To place an order, citizens can either call the SWaCH helpline 9765999500 or email

Waste pickers truly hope that people understand the importance of using these identifiable labels. Why should they have to directly handle someone else’s bodily waste??

For further information please call Manisha Desai at 9765405455