Israeli Minister of Religious Services Yakov Margi of Shas is calling on the public to reduce to minimum the air pollution caused during biur chometz on Erev Pesach, and to avoid burning it in ways which are not environmentally friendly.
The minister’s main request is to separate the leavened food from plastic products before throwing it in the fire, and to collect the chometz in paper bags only.
Ahead of the preparations for the chag, Margi sent a letter to heads of all religious councils in Israel, asking them to raise the public awareness to the environmental implications.
“Burning plastic bags releases toxic gas, which harms those conducting the mitzvah and the area’s residents,” the minister wrote, noting that “the children taking part in the chametz burning may suffer serious health risks.”
His suggested solution is “to collect the chametz in paper bags, rather than plastic or carton, which also emits heavy smoke that creates pollution within an urban area.”