Gujarat: Forest department’s remarkable way to dispose waste coconut shells

Gujarat: With increasing air pollution and its adverse effects on health, more and more people are now willing to work towards building greenery in cities as well as villages along with remarkable ideas to ditch nature’s enemy- plastic bags.

The forest department of Gujarat’s Chhota Udepur has taken initiative in plantation drives across Chhota Udaipur as well as the forested areas, but with this also comes a persistent problem of saplings coming in plastic bags- which needs to be planted with the sapling or else needs to be thrown away which increases plastic wastes since these plastic bags are neither biodegradable nor a healthy element for the soil, the better India reported.

So, the Gujarat forest department has come up with another idea of dumping
plastic bags and instead using coconut shells which are thrown after consumption of coconut or its water after it was proposed by District Collector Sujal Mayatra.

Speaking to TOI, SK Puwar, the deputy conservator of forest in Chhota Udepur, Gujarat, told “The shells have been chopped from the bottom so that when the saplings are planted in the ground (along with the shells), there is enough room for roots to grow.

Since coconut shells are biodegradable, the plants will also not be affected. In fact, upon degradation, these shells will act as nutrients.”

The forest department has so far planted 1500 saplings using degradable coconut shells in their first phase of the project.

District Collector Mayatra speaking about the initiative said, “Nurturing the nursery is not our core job, but during our cleanliness drive, there was [an] accumulation of many coconut shells; therefore I proposed the idea to rear the plants. As the coconut shells will be used for saplings, waste management will also be easy, and it will also help in our goal of making Chhota Udepur a plastic-free district.”

Kudos to Gujarat’s forest department for implementing a remarkably effective way to dispose of waste shells by providing biodegradable carriers to saplings and increase the nutrient value of soil.