These are ocean safe and consumable by cattle
Hyderabad: Lord Venkateshwara devotees can now carry home their beloved prasadam laddus in an eco-friendly way and dispose of the bags later by feeding them to cattle if they wish to.
The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), with the help of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has now introduced laddu bags made from corn starch. These bags are “ocean-safe” and are consumable by the cattle. A bag worth two rupees can hold five to six laddus and a Rs. 5 bag has a capacity of around 10.
A sales counter of DRDO-made biodegradable bags was opened at the Laddu Complex near Tirumala shrine on Sunday.
“Our Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad is involved in research to find the best environmental-friendly replacement for the hazardous plastic. We have come out with these eco-friendly bags made of corn starch which degrades naturally within 90 days. These bags are not harmful even if the cattle consume them,” said DRDO Chairman Satish Reddy.
While the conventional polyethene bags are toxic to the environment and take nearly 200 years to degrade, these corn starch bags are offered as a “sustainable, cost-effective and ocean-safe alternative,” he said.
TTD Executive Officer Jawahar Reddy said that they plan to commence “full-fledged sale of DRDO bags, after taking the pilgrims’ feedback for a few days.”
To minimise single-use plastic on Tirumala Hill, TTD had earlier stopped sale of plastic bags at its laddu counters and had replaced them with cloth, jute bags.