Adding muscle to the State government’s anti-plastic campaign, over 100 members of the All Kerala Caterers Association (AKCA) in Kozhikode district are planning to implement the green protocol at all their events from this Onam season. The initiative comes at the request of the Green Kerala Mission and the district administration.

Association leaders said the catering units would give up the use of all disposables and plastic materials and start using dinnerware as a long-term solution to pollution. Some of the units have already started using dinner sets and found them cost-effective, they added.

Besides quitting plastic or disposable vessels, the caterers will introduce a standard segregation method with the support of trained agencies in the sector and remove the segregated waste to approved waste treatment plants. District-wise training for the AKCA members is on the cards with the support of resource persons from the Green Kerala Mission and experts from recognized private agencies.

“On Thursday, we trained around 100 of our caterers in Kozhikode district to begin with the process. The trainers were from the Green Kerala Mission and the experts from the Niravu community that set a trend in the successful treatment of organic and non-degradable waste,” said P. Shahul Hameed, district president of AKCA.

He said the participants were made aware of the financial gains of migrating to the new protocol and the benefits it would give back to society for environmental protection.

Mr. Hameed said the Kozhikode unit would be the first of the AKCA units that would adopt the green protocol in the State. He said the unit had taken the initiative on the suggestion of District Collector U.V. Jose, who inaugurated the Thursday’s training session. “We have been assured all technical and field-level support by the district administration and the Green Kerala Mission to experiment with the new initiative,” he said.

One of the main reasons that the caterers initially refused to make use of the non-disposable items was the financial loss due to unexpected damage to dinnerware during events and the effort of washing used plates. However, the increasing price of disposables recently prompted several investors in the sector to reconsider the practice. The quality of imported dinner sets too promoted them to have a try.

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