Temples go back to basics, say no to plastics
Prasadam counters, shops instructed to shift to eco-friendly alternatives
Right from not burning the plastic covers on camphor to using arecanut leaf plates or stainless steel bowls for holding articles, the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department (HR&CE) has made a list of dos and don’ts to be implemented in temples to enforce the ban on single-use plastics.
“We began our training programmes and preparations for the ban three months ago. counters and shops that are let out by temples on lease have been instructed to shift to non-plastic packaging. Though it will seem costly at present, it will get absorbed in the long run. Temples stand for traditions and plastics
are an intrusion into that ethos. We are only reviving the culture of people carrying flowers and items in bamboo/wooden/ steel baskets to temples,”
said T.K. Ramachandran, former Commissioner of the HR&CE Department, who is now posted as the Thoothukudi Port Trust chairman.
At the Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore, nonwoven bags have been replaced with pure cotton bags, the original
“We have kept boards and have been making announcements on a regular basis asking devotees not to bring plastics into the temple premises. Volunteers are also on regular watch for devotees coming in with plastic bags,” said a temple official.
Biogas plants manjappai.
Other kinds of waste, including flowers and food waste, are also being dealt with by individual temples.
Following regular training programmes by Temple Exnora and environmental experts, temples that have space, like that of Oppiliappan Perumal at Thirunakeswaram, have been asked to install biogas plants, said S. Sivakumar, Joint Commissioner, Mayavaram.
M.P. Rajasekharan, chief technical advisor of Temple Exnora and principal consultant on environment and ecology appointed by the Department, said after the sensitisation programmes, there was a visible reduction in the use of plastics in temples. “Earlier, plastic bags used to be thrown into temple ponds and sometimes the bags used to block stormwater drain channels from the temples,” he said.
S. Vanitha, a resident of Triplicane, said: and steel tumblers are witnessing a come back.”
Big step: Pure cotton bags have replaced non-woven bags at the Sri Kapaleeswarar Temple in Mylapore.