“It was estimated that our mosque distributes an average of 800 to 1,000 bottles every evening in Ramadan, which generates a shocking amount of plastic waste,” informed a spokesperson of Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham which decided to announce a plastic ban for this year’s Ramadan.
During Ramadan, many mosques distribute plastic water bottles to their congregations every day during the night Tarawih prayers. In some cases, this can amount to hundreds of water bottles, as well as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery being used.
It’s estimated that the UK uses 13 billion plastic bottles a year, 7.7 billion of which are water bottles. As a result, many British mosques have implemented the eco-friendly iftar campaign this year, where Muslims break their fast, by distributing reusable cutlery and water bottles.
With this in mind, Green Lane Mosque decided not to issue plastic water bottles to their congregation.
Instead, it has decided to purchase reusable bottles that will be sold at a subsidized cost to the congregation and has also installed water fountains to act as filling stations.
The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is encouraging more mosques and Muslims to join the campaign. York Mosque announced its no single-use plastics policy last night, distributing reusable plastic bottles.
Harun Khan, Secretary General of MCB, is keen for more mosques to join the campaign for a plastic-free Ramadan.
“As Muslims fast in Ramadan to be closer to God, it’s important to be mindful of His creation and care for the environment,” he said.
“We’re glad therefore that many mosques are leading the way by banning plastics at mosques. The MCB hopes many more will get involved and ensure their congregations opt for an eco-friendly approach. We all must play our part in protecting the Earth,” Khan hopes.
Ramadan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar.
In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.
Muslims dedicate their time during the holy month to be closer to Allah through prayers, self-restraint, and good deeds.
The UK’s green Ramadan initiative is not the first among Muslims in the west.
In 2017, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) launched a campaign urging Muslims, mosques and Islamic center to implement practices and policies that are environmentally friendly.
Muslims in the Greater Toronto Area also launched a project called #Waste Free Ramadan to protect their environment in 2017.