Temple in Chennai area bans plastic of all kinds

By Naomi N Published on Jun 26, 2018 12:55 PM IST

Chennai: The devotees who gathered at Sri Rathnagireeswarar temple at Besant Nagar in the city earlier this week, were in for a surprise.

For, three bins were placed here indicating the different types of wastes that are to be disposed.

The temple was recently declared a ‘green’ one, that has banned any kind of plastic in its premises, courtesy Thiruvanmiyur-based NGO, Namma Ooru Foundation, that has launched the Namma Kovil project, which prohibits plastic bags and styrofoam cups for carrying flower offerings and prasadam distribution.

Devotees too are encouraged to use paper and cloth bags, while those at the shrine will be using Thayal Ilai and Dhonnai.

Addressing the devotees, the NGO founder, P Natarajanan, an IT professional-turned-social entrepreneur, held up a bag of wastes of different kinds, and said, “This is the amount of disposed items I collected in half an hour from the temple premises.”

He said that the collected trash was of less than 50 microns and that it would not degrade even in a 1,000 years.

“The city generates 5,000 tonnes of waste in a day, and about 18 lakh tonnes a year. Even as the government has collaborated with private companies to manage the dump, it simply finds its way to Perungudi and Pallikaranai yards. Over here, liquids from the mounts of garbage leech into the land, subsequently reaching the underground water and polluting it. The only solution to manage all this, is simply using the different bins, one bag method,” he added.

Even as the devotees who gathered took a pledge before Sri Rathanagireeswarar that they will not bring plastic items inside the temple premises as a start to the project.

Temple representative Sripathy urged all devotees to co-operate and help manage the garbage, it is learnt.

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Flower vendors and fruit sellers outside the temple too joined hands and decided to use paper bags and cloth bags as alternatives.