Odisha's Keonjhar district administration is cutting down on its plastic waste by retracing the local roots.
For decades, Keonjhar residents used plates and cutlery made out of leaves of sal tree, which grows abundantly in the region. However, as single-use plastics became increasingly popular, sal plates diminished.
But now, these plates are looking to make a comeback, thanks to Keonjhar District Magistrate Ashish Thakare.
Collectorate was best place to launch eco-friendly initiative: Thakare
The DM has made a decision to chuck plastic plates and cutlery from the District Collectorate, and opt for more sustainable options such as sal leaf plates, locally called khali,The Better India reported.
Thakare asserted that the Collectorate was the best place to launch this eco-friendly initiative.
The move comes as plastic waste continues to pile in the once-pristine Keonjhar.
"About time we ditched plastic for greener alternative"
Thakare told TBI, "We have been trying to implement the measure for quite some time now. Keonjhar is well-known for its sal forests. Sal leaf products are a specialty here. It was about time we ditched the plastic for a cleaner & greener alternative."
Tribal women in several villages already manufacturing 'Khalis'
Apart from promoting sustainable living and traditional trade, the project also puts tribal women on the front. Already, several self-help groups in Telkoi, Banspal, and Harichandanpur villages have been delegated the task of manufacturing plates and cups on a mass scale.