Kolkata: Durga Puja committees shun vinyl banners, go for cloth to save environment | Kolkata - Hindustan Times
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Kolkata: Durga Puja committees shun vinyl banners, go for cloth to save environment

Oct 17, 2023 09:13 AM IST

While some committees have increased their budget this year, others have cut down on the number of banners they use to accommodate the extra cost

Adopting a greener approach, several small and big budget Durga puja committees have this year started adopting cloth and canvass instead of vinyl for banners and hoardings used in advertisements.

An artist applies final touches to an idol of goddess Durga ahead of the Durga Puja festival. (ANI Photo)
An artist applies final touches to an idol of goddess Durga ahead of the Durga Puja festival. (ANI Photo)

While some committees have increased their budget this year, others have cut down on the number of banners they use to accommodate the extra cost.

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“Every year, banners and hoardings cover up the entire city during the Durga puja. Tonnes of plastic are used to produce this visual pollution. After the puja, their disposal becomes a huge headache. You cannot dump them anywhere, nor can you burn them. Hence, we have opted for banners made of cloth,” said Abhijit Das, working secretary of Kidderpore Sarbajanin Durgotsav Samity.

The committee started their Durga puja in 1927 and is organising their 97th puja this year.

“We are a small budget puja, and our budget is around 6 lakh this year. We have printed just around 30-32 banners, all cloth. This way we have saved a few hundred square feet of plastic from adding to the environment. For this, we had to increase our advertisement budget by almost double,” Das said.

The Centre has banned single-use plastic items such as earbuds, plastic flag, thermocol for decoration, plastic cutlery and those used in cigarette packets from July 1, 2022.

“It is a welcome move by the puja committees. Even though there is a ban on single use plastic items and thermocol, there is no ban on plastic banners which are more than 100 microns. But this step will help to bring down plastic pollution which becomes a menace after the puja season,” said Biswajit Mukherjee, former chief law officer of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board.

Suruchi Sangha, a popular and big-budget Durga Puja committee in south Kolkata and patronised by a state minister, has also decided to do away with vinyl banners and hoardings this year.

“Every year, we set up around 400-450 hoardings and banners which are all made of plastic. They are cheaper. But this year we have decided to use banners made of cloth and canvass. For this we had to cut down on the number of banners as the cost was shooting up. We are using only around 250 banners,” said one of the organisers of Suruchi Sangha.

Last year, soon after the ban came into force, some puja committees changed their plans at the last minute to avoid using thermocol for decoration.

“We have been using cloth for advertisement ever since last year. This year too we are using cloth. It is more ecofriendly as it is biodegradable. Plastic become a big nuisance after the festival,” said Bikash Sarkar, president of the Natundal Sarbajanin Durga Puja in South 24 Parganas.

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