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How Floral Waste Is Boosting Circularity in the Economy

India is embracing a circular economy and sustainability, with a focus on converting trash into wealth. This can be achieved through various initiatives, such as installing composting pits in temples, employing SHGs and Temple trusts in recycling initiatives, and promoting debris minimization through outreach programs.

The “Green Temples” concept can also be integrated into laws to make temples more environmentally friendly.

Reducing floral waste can also be achieved by promoting digital products or biodegradable materials instead of conventional flowers.

The National Horticulture Board can handle the monitoring and control of floral waste in green areas. The floral waste sector in India is experiencing new growth, providing employment opportunities for women and contributing to environmental preservation. However, floral waste often ends up in landfills or water bodies, causing health hazards and harming aquatic life. The Swachh Bharat Mission-Urban 2.0 is spearheading a transformative journey towards sustainability, where the ethos of circular economy and waste-to-wealth reign supreme.

Several Indian cities are implementing innovative solutions to recycle flowers into valuable products like organic compost, soaps, candles, and incense sticks. The Ujjain’s Mahalakaleshwar Temple produces around 5-6 tonnes of floral and other waste daily, which is collected and processed at a 3TPD plant. 16 women from the Shiv Arpan Self-Help Group create high-quality items from the waste, while the waste is converted into briquettes, compost, and biofuel.

Siddhivinayak Temple, which receives nearly 40,000-50,000 devotees daily, offers 120 to 200kgs of floral waste. Mumbai-based designer house ‘Adiv Pure Nature’ has initiated a sustainable venture, turning the temple’s discarded blooms into natural dyes for textiles. Tirupati Municipal Corporation handles over 6 tons of floral waste daily from temples, employing 150 women from self-help groups.

Kanpur-based Phool collects nearly 21 MT of floral waste weekly across five prominent temple towns of India, upcycling it into items like incense sticks, incense cones, bamboo-less incense, and havan cups. The women employed by Phool enjoy a safe working space, fixed salaries, and benefits like provident fund, transportation, and healthcare.

Hyderabad-based startup ‘HolyWaste’ revitalizes floral waste through a unique process called ‘Florjuvination’, partnering with vendors, temples, event organizers, decorators, and flower waste generators. Currently, Holy waste prevents 1,000 kgs/week from clogging water bodies or rotting in landfills.

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