Ayodhya: The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has enlisted the services of Pakka, a local company in Ayodhya, to supply compostable plates, bowls, and spoons for the Pran Pratishtha ceremony on January 22.
The trust wants the Pran Pratishtha event to be an environmentally friendly event by entirely avoiding single-use plastic (SUP).
Pakka will provide at least six compostable Standard Key Units (SKUs), including five-chambered plates, three chambered plates, six-inch plates, 250 ml bowls, and a 350 ml container with a lid for packaging the ‘prasad.’
While the company does not manufacture spoons, it will source them from other producers and also supply wooden spoons to the temple trust.
A minimum of 1.5 lakh units of each SKU will be delivered to the trust for use during the ceremony.
Gautam Ghosh, the executive director of Pakka, said that the tableware made from sugarcane waste (bagasse) is sturdy, microwave-safe, suitable for backyard composting, and has been tested to withstand mustard oil without getting soggy.
Pakka boasts a clientele that includes airports, IRCTC, and the Shirdi temple.
“We also provide sugarcane pulp to at least 90 per cent of the vendors manufacturing compostables made of bagasse,” added Ghosh.
The company plans to continue supplying these items to the temple trust beyond the January 22 event.
Simultaneously, the Ayodhya Development Authority has directed all tent cities in Ayodhya to adopt compostable plates and bowls for future bhandaras to reduce the usage of SUP in the region.
The compostable tableware made from bagasse is deemed safe as no chemicals are used at any stage of its production.
The sugarcane waste, obtained from sugar mills, is initially converted into fibre, then treated with caustic to form pulp, which is subsequently washed and dried. The caustic used (98 per cent) is recovered in a recovery plant, ensuring the safety of the final product.
The pulp is moulded into the shape of tableware without bleaching to achieve a white appearance. “It is not carcinogenic like plastic items,” Ghosh clarified.
Meanwhile, it is noteworthy that the temple trust has purchased the tableware from the company rather than receiving it as a complimentary offering.