Plastic plates are one of the most commonly used items for catering in weddings as they are cheap and convenient. Nevertheless, they are extremely harmful for the environment. These plates can neither be reused nor be disposed properly. Realising these cons, a village in Kerala has come up with a new directive stating that marriage certificates will not be issued in case plastic plates are used in a wedding.
The Kolad Gram Panchayat of Kerala’s Kannur district is on a mission to make weddings completely ‘green’. This initiative is being called ‘Maalinyamillatha Mangalyam’ which translates to ‘no waste in weddings’.
Accomplishing this objective does sound difficult, but the initiative has become widely-accepted and hugely popular in the village. It has been presently implemented only in weddings but will soon be extended to all ceremonies with over 100 guests.
Every person in the village who decides to get married needs to first inform the panchayat before proceeding forward. If one does not follow the rule, Rs 10,000 is charged as penalty. On the wedding day, few people from the panchayat come to the venue to inspect whether plastic plates are being used and only issue the marriage certificate if satisfied. The panchayat also rewards the couple if this rule is entirely followed.
When the panchayat had initially come up with this proposal, the villagers had raised objections as they could not think of any alternative to plastic plates. However, Harithakarma Sena decided to contribute by offering steel and plantain leaf plates.
Now, the entire village diligently follows the rule ensuring every wedding in the village is ‘green’. They have also banned the use of plastic hoardings in the village and are now working towards eradicating the use of plastic bottles in schools.
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