Tirupur man brings along alternative to non-biodegradable products

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SMC, Health, Cancer Society support initiative, masses laud

SRINAGAR: In what could save the environment and water bodies of Kashmir from being stuffed with poisonous substances by way of Thermacol, Styrofoam and other plastics use, a young man from Tirupur Tamil Nadu, Sathya Prabhu, has brought along alternatives fully supported by SMC, Health Department, Cancer Society and others.

Prabhu has come up with plates made of Areca leaves which are natural, completely bio-degradable and suitable for selling of eatables in the valley.

“The product is in use for the past 10 years in the Southern India,” Prabhu says. “We’ve since long identified the dangers of the use of hazardous products and thankfully Areca leaves have come to our rescue.”

Prabhu who is on a visit to the valley has been meeting doctors, ministers, civil servants, vendors and the masses to educate them about the dangers of the extensive use of Thermacol, Styrofoam and other plastics.

Pertinently, the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) has recently announced a blanket-ban on use of Thermacol, Styrofoam and other plastics which have been choking the water bodies resulting in water-logging at many places throughout the Srinagar city.

Requesting the food vendors, hoteliers, restaurateurs registered with the J&K Pollution Control Board to stop using of non-biodegradable products, the Chief Enforcement Officer, SMC, has recommended the use of plates made from Areca leaves.

“We were selling poison in the name of the plates and other items from plastics and other non-biodegradable products,” a Maharaji Bazar vendor said. “We’re pleased something else has come up as an alternative.”

Prabhu says the product can be used on multiple times and even if it’s thrown into water, it’ll decompose and assimilate into it without causing any damage.

“I’m happy the product has been warmly welcomed by the one and all and I have already got order worth one lakh rupees from various vendors,” Prabhu said. “One the product is very well received; we can begin the production right in the valley with the involvement of the locals. It will help generate employment for the poor.”

Pollution is turning the famous mountain-ringed Dal Lake in Kashmir into a polythene-clogged swamp, hampering the recovery of tourism in the region, environmentalists say.

Trillions of polythene bags are used world over every year. They persist on this earth to haunt us and our generations for centuries. Polythene chokes the drains, the water bodies, pollutes the land and poisons us slowly but surely.

“A stream once flowing into Jhelum River is now a cesspool,” Said Uzma Bashir, a student at Kashmir University. “Polythene and sewage are doing the dirty job.”

“Polythene has been recovered from the rumen of countless cattle and is a major threat to animals also besides posing a severe threat to our environment, Uzma said. “Look at the amount polythene we use during the marriage ceremonies. It’s disgusting.”

“Prabhu’s initiatives should be encouraged and we must rid Kashmir from the menace of polythene,” she said. 

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