Floral Waste Boosts Circular Economy in India’s Spiritual Landscape

GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 10th July.
 India’s pursuit of sustainability and a circular economy gains momentum as floral waste from temples becomes a catalyst for economic and environmental transformation. Implementing composting pits in temples and engaging Temple trusts and Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in recycling efforts has not only created significant employment opportunities but also mitigated environmental impacts.

Efforts to educate priests and devotees about the detrimental effects of dumping floral waste in rivers have yielded positive results, fostering waste reduction initiatives nationwide. The concept of “Green Temples” is gaining traction, promoting eco-friendly practices such as digital offerings and biodegradable materials.

The National Horticulture Board plays a pivotal role in managing floral waste across green spaces, aligning with India’s broader sustainability goals. Under the Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0, cities are innovating to convert floral waste into organic compost, soaps, candles, and incense sticks, reducing landfill burden and promoting a cleaner environment.

In Ujjain’s Mahalakaleshwar Temple, up to 6 tonnes of floral waste are processed daily, supporting the livelihoods of 16 women through the production of eco-friendly products. Similarly, Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Temple transforms 200 kgs of floral waste weekly into natural dyes, enriching local artisanal practices.

Tirupati Municipal Corporation handles over 6 tons of floral waste daily, empowering 150 women through recycling initiatives at the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam Aggarbatti manufacturing plant. Kanpur’s Phool initiative collects 21 MT of floral waste weekly across prominent temple towns, producing items like incense sticks and havan cups while supporting women with fair wages and benefits.

Innovative startups like Hyderabad-based ‘HolyWaste’ and Delhi-NCR’s ‘Aaruhi’ further exemplify India’s commitment to sustainable practices, preventing significant quantities of floral waste from polluting water bodies or landfills.

As India continues its journey towards sustainability, floral waste emerges as a potent resource for fostering economic growth, environmental preservation, and social empowerment.

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