May 26, 2018, Ludhiana; US based environmental organization EcoSikh joins hands with Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to push the use of compostable bags made out of potato and corn/bio-based starch at all religious places in Punjab. Heads of all the major religions gathered today at Gurdwara Sri DukhNiwaran Sahib at the launch. The event was widely supported by all the religious bodies including Gurdwara DukhNiwaran Sahib and Gurdwara Sarabha Nagar, Jama Masjid Field Ganj, Durga Temple, Gyan Sthal and Sri Krishna Mandir. The event was designed to reach maximum masses via multi-faiths. As per United Nations, 80% of the world population belongs to one or the other religion. On this pious occasion Jathedar Sri Damdama Sahib Giani Harpreet Singh ji, Jathedar Giani Phoola Singh ji Kesgarh Sahib and Head Granthi Giani Malkiat Singh ji Sri Akal Takhat Sahib were also present to give their best wishes.
It is to be noted PPCB launched these bags at Sri Harmandar Sahib Amritsar for carrying karah parshad on March 14, the Sikh Environment Day. Since then the environmental groups have felt the need to popularize these bags at the major Gurdwaras and religious spots in Punjab and push them in the market. The non-biodegradable plastic bags have created a havoc in Punjab’s environment whereas these bags will not effect the environment as they decompose naturally in 180 days when exposed to water or sunlight or disposed off in garbage. Additionally, they are not harmful to animals if consumed.
Said PPCB Chief Engineer, Pradeep Gupta, “This year India is hosting the World Environment Day, on June 5th, under the theme ‘beat the plastic pollution’, and PPCB has applied all its sincere efforts to popularize the manufacturing and sales of the bio-degradable bags. We are thankful to the entire public of Punjab and especially the environmental organizations who are coming forward to further the government’s efforts to save environment.”
In the last decade one time use plastic bags has brought Punjab on the top ranking in terms of pollution. As per past PPCB reports Punjab produces about 4300 tonnes of garbage everyday. Assumingly 25% of the total municipal solid waste is comprised of plastic bags, which makes 1100 tonnes of plastic daily, most of it is not recycled and ends up in polluting rivers and our soils.
Said, Pritpal Singh ji, President Gurdwara DukhNiwaran Sahib, “Guru Nanak has said that the Creator resides in the nature and we have to extend his vision to protect the mata dharat. Our Gurdwara and sangat will take lead in serving the nature by promoting these earth friendly bags for carrying KarrahPrasad.
Said EcoSikh India President Supreet Kaur, “Sikhs have been known for their seva and wellbeing of all, sarbat da bhalla. The compostable bag is a visionary idea to replace the ‘one time use’ plastic bags and pay back our air water and our soils to protect all life of earth. It is an honour to us that EcoSikh will be spearheading to promote the use and sales of earth-friendly bags at all the religious places in Punjab and make an impact.”
Extended his gratitude to PPCB and the religious bodies EcoSikh Board Member Jaspreet Singh who has been behind the entire launch, said, “Using this bag for Prasad is a unique way to sell the idea and spread awareness via a religious platform. When everyone carries the holy prasad in the compostable starch bags, they will understand that Guru has always expected us to love nature and then perhaps they will understand that there is a need to give up the usual plastic bags and switch to this eco-friendly product.”
Naib Shahi Imam Janab Usman Ludhianvi from Jama Masjid said, “Islam has always promoted live an eco-friendly life and to protect nature. We appeal to all our business houses to innovate in this product and be creative in using the compostable bags in packaging especially in the food items.”
Balbir Kumar Gupta President Durga Temple also confirmed his support from Hindu community and at the temple. Gen Secretary Dukh Niwaran Sahib Avtar Singh ji, Ajit Singh Khalsa, Satnam Singh, Price from Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib were present.