One of the world’s richest temple Tirupati Lord Venkateswara trust took a step ahead in bringing plastic-free practice in distributing its famous laddoo prasad to devotees. As per the reports, the annual donation which the temple receives is Rs 650 crore, and around Rs75 lakh is made solely through the sales of laddoos. On an average, about 3.5-4 lakhs of laddoos are sold every day. So if we do some calculation around 70,00 plastic bags are required daily.
As per the reports, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) trust that manages the temple has now joined hands with Adhitya Birla group company- Hindalco and Jute Corporation of India-brought about a pilot project on distributing prasad in 100% recyclable aluminium foil laminated jute bags.
These bags will be made out of jute, and it is reported that the Hindalco and JCI have now applied for a patent for the process of aluminium foil lamination of jute. Over the past two months, around 3 lakh jute bags has already being sold out. As part of a pilot test, JCI has already opened a distribution counter for jute foil laminated bags at TTD.
The company is looking forward for a gain of around Rs 50 crore per annum through the sales of such bags. The Tirupati temple trust stated that they are trying to encourage the use of non-plastic packaging materials for providing prasad by utilising paper boxes, paper bags and jute bags. TTD additional EO AV Dharma Reddy told that efforts are undertaken to reduce the use of plastic in a phased method and make Tirupati plastic-free.
TTD official further added that this initiative is a much-welcomed alternative for the plastic bag– also it is eco-friendly and an Indian innovation. The Tirupati laddoos have high demand, and this is a great start to reduce plastic. However, the price of the jute bag when compared plastic and other alternatives are expensive, which makes people reluctant on the broader phase to adoption.
Nonetheless, this green initiative not only helps to reduce plastic but would provide employment to many as well as preserve a traditional way of packaging thing. India is a land of temples; we can hope that this initiative by TTD is just a beginning for a transformation.