TIRUMALA: The famous, tasty Tirumala prasadam — laddu — would soon be packed and sold in paper boxes, signalling a shift away from plastic bags.The Tirumala Tirupat Devsthanam (TTD) had decided to ban the use of plastic bags in the temple premises and tested the paper boxes. According to TTD officials, the boxes don’t get affected by ghee, oil or moisture.
The shift to paper boxes, once initiated, will make Tirumala a plastic-free hill town in its true sense.The TTD administration is planning to do away with polythene covers used for carrying the laddus and instead use food grade paper boxes. While Tirupati city has successfully implemented a ban on single use covers, plates and cups made of plastic, the temple town is taking steps to dispense with the usage of plastic carry bags.
After mulling various options, including introducing biodegradable plastic covers and cloth/jute bags, the TTD has planned to settle for paper boxes, similar to those used in bakeries.On coming to know that such boxes are in use at Srisailam Devasthanam, TTD EO AK Singhal chose to replicate the idea at Tirumala first, followed by Tiruchanur and other local temples.
The TTD estate officer and health officer held meetings with hoteliers and shopkeepers etc to dispense with usage of plastic carry bags in Tirumala
70,000 to 90,000 devotees visit Tirumala on normal days and 1 lakh or more on weekends and auspicious days