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Pilgrims’ plastics reap recycling destiny

India – Officials have banned all plastic containers from the Sabarimala temple, located within a tiger conservation park in the Indian state of Kerala.

The estimated 100 million Hindu worshippers who visit the site annually are now required to hand over any plastic bags or bottles, around 90% of which are recycled and the remainder incinerated. The court-ordered ban was introduced after traces of plastic were found in the digestive tracts of dead samba deer and an elephant, according to a report in The Scotsman newspaper.

Although the stop on plastic is claimed already to have had a positive effect on litter levels, officials are giving consideration to frisking pilgrims rather than relying on them to give up their containers voluntarily. ‘We aim to extend the mission further – to possibly also include fines,’ a district magistrate is quoted as saying.

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