Ramadan Mubarak! This Wednesday (March 22), billions of Muslims worldwide will begin the month-long observance of fasting (sawm), prayer and reflection. But Ramadan is also about supporting the community, in which protecting the planet plays a big part! That’s why Projects Against Plastic (PAP) is urging all Muslim communities across the country to partake in a plastic-free Ramadan this year.
Its plastic-free Ramadan project will roll-out across the country this year, helping communities to find sustainable ways to serve food and drink while breaking fast. PAP claims it has the potential to save 500 tonnes of waste each year. This follows a pilot scheme in Bristol where seven mosques managed to reduce single-use plastic by 75 per cent.
The pilot was run by PAP, along with Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group (BMSLG), set up to develop and strengthen Muslim communities in Bristol. Together they held events to raise awareness and encourage visitors to bring their own bottles, as well as help install water fountains and dishwashers.
“By joining with this ground-breaking charity partnership, we believe we are giving the mosques their natural leadership roles at a critical period of the year,” said Sheila El Dieb, Environmental Task Group Chair of BMSLG.
“Ramadan is a time when Muslims are reconsidering their individual place in the world along with their responsibility to the planet, each other and our fellow global inhabitants. No step is too small to seek to find ecological ways of making our living sustainable; no person is unimportant in this journey.”
These initial seven Bristol mosques included Jalabad Mosque in Eastville, Faizan-E-Madina in Fishponds, Easton Jamia Masjid, Greenbank Mosque in Easton, Hazrat Bilal Centre in St Paul’s, Jamia Mosque in Totterdown and Tawfiq Masjid & Centre in Barton Hill. They will now be joined by mosques in the South West, South East, North West and the Midlands in the campaign for a plastic-free Ramadan.
“Protecting the environment is an important aspect of Islam and together we can tackle plastic pollution nationwide,” said PAP charity founder Naseem Talukdar. “If everyone gets involved, we could save around a tonne of waste per mosque. This would benefit those communities directly and the country in general.”
There are an estimated 500 mosques in the UK. Each one can use up to 3,000 water bottles and 2,000 plastic plates and cutlery sets during Ramadan. This plastic-free Ramadan campaign has the potential to save up to a tonne in plastic per mosque.