A Mumbai-based NGO has created Ganesh idols with corn and vegetable powder that can be consumed by marine organisms. The idol is colored with natural materials such as turmeric, chandan and geru.
The idols have been created by Sprouts Environmental Trust, with support from a private company.
"Forty idols are being made at Nagpur and we have received orders from across the country. These idols would dissolve within four to five hours of immersion," said Anand Pendharkar, founder, NGO Sprouts.
Two creative directors from the company designed the campaign 'God Save the Ocean'. Srreram Athray and Elizabeth Dias said a lot of research had gone into the making.
"We had to test the idol properly as there are chances that one of the main ingredients - the vegetable powder - could deteriorate," said Athray.
"We contacted a person from Nagpur, who had made idols out of chocolate. He said we could go ahead with the idea," said Dias.
These nine-inch idols made out of food products would reduce waste seen after immersions.
Dr Nandini Deshmukh, marine biologist, said, "The natural ingredients will be consumed by small fish which in turn will be eaten by larger fish. Even if these particles are not consumed, they become detritus (dead particulate organic matter) that is further consumed by other marine organisms like detritivores."
The idols are available online on first-come-first-serve basis. The team plans to make nearly 4,000 idols next year.