Plastic ban updates




"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect" - Aldo Leopold

Since early 2009, Sacred Earth Trust SET, has been working in cooperation with the local and the international communities to reduce the plastic pollution in Bodhgaya and surrounding villages.

By raising awareness on the issues in relation to plastic pollution and the effects on the land, water courses, human and animal health.



Bodhgaya Temple Management Committee BTMC agreed to officially ban disposable plastic at the grounds of the Mahabodhi Temple in September 2009 and it was publicly announce in Oct 2010. SET volunteers worked on gathering a petition of support for the ban, collecting over 7000+ signatures from local and international communities was presented to local and central government in 2009 and early 2010. This has lead to the local government officially banning disposable plastics and will work towards implementation through education and practical action, starting within 500m of the central area around the Mahabodhi Temple.


4R's: REFUSE, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE was introduced last year to bring awareness to plastic pollution in the sacred land.


Village women have been an important part of the solution. Through developing income generation projects,  sewing cloth bags has resulted in keeping 50,000+ plastic bags off the land during the winter of 2010. This initiative was supported by BTMC and the Buddhist organisations, such as Kagyu Monlam, Nyingma Monlam, Amitabha Foundation, Aloka Foundation, Tipitaka who come to Bodhgaya for the annual peace gathering events under the Bodhi Tree.  Local supporters included hoteliers and businesses.


The local government in nearby Gaya are developing strategies on developing an infrastructure for the development of the Solid Waste Management SWM system by outsourcing the work to private SWM companies to deal with the clean up.


There have been several attempts to deal with the waste issues, which accumulate during the peak seasons. Due to lack of resources the SWM system till now is to dump in a pile at collection points and then taken to the town dumpsite just outside town or the river- bank of the famous Naranjana. The river remains a dry sandy riverbed apart from 6 weeks of the year, when the monsoon comes. Small improvements have been made slowly this year such as new waste bins for collection placed along the main street and walking precinct.


There are many issues in Bodhgaya in regards to environment, social and economic developments which all seem to be effected by or dependant on the tourism of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims during the 6 months of the year.


The sustainable development of Bodhgaya will take time to implement and to engage those who can make a difference locally, but as international visitors to the place of Buddha’s enlightenment we can make a huge difference by being conscious of what we consume and how we choose to do it.


Small things make a big difference……..

Say no to plastics- can reduce plastic pollution on the land and impact on air pollution

Using your own cloth bags -can reduce plastic bags being used and you can use it more than once.

Bring your own reusable water bottles or thermal flasks- can reduce use of plastic water bottles and polystyrene, plastic cups

Bring your own cutlery, cups and plates- can reduce your disposable waste at events


Through conscious living and taking action we can be part of the solution!!!


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