Indonesia’s Muslims urged to ‘go green’ and ditch plastic bags on Eid

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Indonesia is going without plastic bags to distribute qurban meat during this year’s Eid and replace the meat packaging with the more environmentally friendly, reusable woven bamboo baskets or banana leaves. (Photo: Instagram @kerajinan_handycraft_indonesia)
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Woven bamboo baskets or besek are ready for shipment as demand for the baskets have soared with Eid approaching after the Indonesian government has called on qurban committees across the archipelago to distribute qurban meat with eco-friendly packaging. Photo: Instagram @kerajinan_handycraft_indonesia (Photo: Instagram @kerajinan_handycraft_indonesia)
Updated 14 August 2019

Indonesia’s Muslims urged to ‘go green’ and ditch plastic bags on Eid

  • North Jakarta’s Ancol Dreamland Park will hand out sacrificial meat to the first 100 recipients in woven bamboo baskets, or besek

JAKARTA: Indonesia is urging Muslims to use eco-friendly packaging when distributing sacrificial meat on Eid Al-Adha this year, as the country fights to reduce the amount of plastic waste it produces.   
Indonesia is second only to China when it comes to dumping plastic waste in the ocean and, with a Muslim-majority population, the use of plastic bags to package sacrifical meat could lead to tens of thousands of tons of additional waste.
The slaughter of an animal — qurbani — is carried out in remembrance of the Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at Allah’s command.
Regional leaders across Indonesia were last month urged by the government to tell people to bring their own reusable containers instead of single-use plastic bags for the sacrificial meat.
“Alternatively, they can replace plastic bags with wrappings from banana or teak leaves, woven bamboo baskets, or other biodegradable or reusable packaging,” an official from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, said in a circular.
Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan said the use of woven bamboo baskets would help to reduce plastic waste and generate additional income for local tradesmen, while Central Jakarta Mayor Bayu Meghantara said his office would distribute 500 woven bamboo baskets to qurbani committees.
Abu Hurairah Abdul Salam, a spokesman for Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta, said the qurbani committee had starting using plastic bags made of cassava pulp four years ago.
“But, in accordance with the governor’s instructions, we will be using woven bamboo baskets to distribute qurbani meat this year. We have prepared 5,000 baskets and, if we run out of baskets, we will be using biodegradable cassava plastic bags,” he told Arab News.
North Jakarta’s Ancol Dreamland Park will hand out sacrificial meat to the first 100 recipients in woven bamboo baskets, or besek.
“We will wrap the rest of the qurbani meat packages, which on average are up to 5,000, in biodegradable, cassava-based bags. This is one of the many policies that park management has issued to address the waste problem. We have stopped using plastic straws at all vendor stalls,” Ancol spokeswoman Rika Lestari told Arab News.
The Indonesian Council of Ulema is backing the nationwide green initiative.
“We can take this Eid moment to start a new habit using eco-friendly bags and to change our society’s dependence on plastic bags,” council official Hasanuddin Abdul Fattah said in a statement.


US Navy moves to expel court-martialed SEAL commando after Trump restored his rank

Updated 21 November 2019

US Navy moves to expel court-martialed SEAL commando after Trump restored his rank

WASHINGTON : The US military formally notified a court-martialed Navy SEAL commando on Wednesday that he faces proceedings to expel him from the ranks of elite special forces after his demotion was reversed by President Donald Trump, his lawyer and a Navy spokeswoman said.
A Trident Review Board hearing is set for Dec. 2 to weigh whether Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who was charged with committing war crimes during a 2017 deployment to Iraq, is fit to remain in the SEALs, Navy Captain Tamara Lawrence said.
She told Reuters that three of Gallagher’s commanding officers face separate hearings to review whether they, too, should be removed from the SEALs. Gallagher’s civilian lawyer, Timothy Parlatore, confirmed his client was served with papers informing him of his review.