"For many Muslims breaking fast in mosques around the world this Ramadan,
something will be missing: plastics.
The communal experience of iftars – the after-sunset meal that brings people of
the faith together during the holy month starting on March 22, 2023 – often
necessitates the use of utensils designed for mass events, such as plastic
knives and forks, along with bottles of water.
But to encourage Muslims to be more mindful of the impact of Ramadan on the
environment, mosques are increasingly dispensing of single-use items, with some
banning the use of plastics altogether.
As a historian of Islam, I see this “greening” of Ramadan as entirely in
keeping with the traditions of the faith, and in particular the observance of
The month – during which observant Muslims must abstain from even a sip of
water or food from sun up to sun down – is a time for members of the faith to
focus on purifying themselves as individuals against excess and materialism.
But in recent years, Muslim communities around the world have used the period
to rally around themes of social awareness. And this includes understanding the
perils of wastefulness and embracing the link between Ramadan and environmental
The ban on plastics – a move encouraged by the Muslim Council of Britain as a
way for Muslims “to be mindful of [God’s] creation and care for the
environment” – is just one example.
Many other mosques and centers are discouraging large or extravagant evening
meals altogether. The fear is such communal events generate food waste and
overconsumption and often rely on nonbiodegradable materials for cutlery,
plates and serving platters."
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics