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February 3, 2019

Alipore Zoo selling sal plates to wean visitors away from thermocol

In an effort at environment-friendly measures, Kolkata’s Alipore Zoo has taken to selling plates made of sal leaves to visitors who want to picnic inside.

The plates are being sold from three stalls inside the zoo. The stalls sell the plates at Re 1 a piece.

The zoo management is aiming at gradually getting people out of the habit of taking thermocol plates, which are non-biodegradable, inside the zoo premises.

The end points for most thermocol products are landfills or the sea. Thermocol takes hundreds of years to decompose. When burned, it releases hazardous chemicals and toxic gases.

This green initiative also serves a social cause. The sal plates are being brought from a forest protection committee at Chandrakona in Paschim Medinipur district, where collecting firewood and sal leaves is the primary occupation of the tribal population. Thus the zoo authorities are enabling for a section of villagers there an additional source of income.

Each plate is made by stitching two leaves together. Women are the main earning members of several households.