In a bid to promote sustainable menstruation a corporation in Kerala has announced that it would set up napkin vending machines in public places in the capital city. Thiruvananthapuram Corporation is planning for a 'cloth pad' project and is enquiring into the technical feasibility of setting up vending machines, if not outlets. 

The corporation will use some amount set aside for 'Ananthapurai Medicals' project for the new venture. "We are inquiring whether vending machines can be used to vend cloth pads and a technical person, who was present at the purchase committee meeting has informed that it would be possible. However, we have not got any confirmation in this regard," deputy mayor Rekha Ravikumar said. 

The corporation has entered into an agreement with Hindustan Latex Ltd for the project which is estimated at ₹98 lakh. Three pads would be available from the machine at ₹10. The machines would be set up at public places, like the bus station, railway station and near public toilets and comfort stations. 

The civic body is also mooting to install napkin vending machines at schools, and the project will cost ₹50 lakh. Several companies have come forward to install vending machines at government schools, but the activists working in the field of women's hygiene are of the opinion that this would aggravate the environmental problem. 

National Green Tribunal had proposed to ensure measures for scientific disposal of napkins following a plea filed by activist Gopi Vijayakumar. 

"Schools can stock napkins in sick rooms, and vending machines are an unnecessary expenditure. Companies should make efforts to spread awareness on scientific disposal of napkins and to take measures to reduce the use of plastic in their products," Arjun Unnikrishnan of Kozhikode-based collective 'Red Cycle' said.

However, there are reports that demand for menstrual cups has gone up and people in Kerala are warming up for sustainable menstruation products.