Indian Railways' initiative to shift towards plastic-free operations will help farmers and artisans as demand for their products will increase.
Indian Railways to go eco-friendly by taking this big step! Recently, the national transporter has decided to make all its stations and trains free of plastic. The move will be implemented in a phased manner, according to Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi. The minister was quoted in a PTI report saying that the South Western Railway zone is already in talks with some artisans from the state of Karnataka to supply ‘kulhads’ (clay pots) for serving tea on trains, instead of plastic cups. According to Angadi, Indian Railways’ initiative to shift towards plastic-free operations will help farmers and artisans as demand for their products will increase.
At present, the national transporter is 25 per cent plastic-free. Moreover, attempts have begun to make Indian Railways, 100 per cent plastic-free, Angadi said. However, the minister ruled out a complete ban on carrying or use of plastic on Indian Railways stations or in trains. According to Angadi, having a law won’t help. There has to be awareness among people and the passengers should decide to make the trains and stations plastic-free, he added.
Last month, it was reported that Indian Railways has directed all the railway units to enforce a ban on single use plastic material, with less than 50 micron thickness. The ban is likely to begin from 2 October 2019. In his last Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned the need to eliminate single use plastic in India. In this regard, Piyush Goyal chaired Railway Ministry issued a notice stating the following instructions that are to be enforced with effect from 2 October:
- A ban on single use plastic material has been imposed.
- All vendors across the Indian Railways’ network have been directed to avoid the use of plastic carry bags.
- The staff/railway officials have been directed to reduce, reuse as well as refuse plastic products. Instead, they have been asked to use inexpensive reusable bags.
As part of Extended Producer Responsibility, IRCTC would implement the practice of returning plastic drinking water bottles.
- Plastic bottle crushing machines will be installed at railway stations and premises.