The nation's largest transporter, Indian Railways, has decided to put a ban on single-use plastic material on its premises, including trains. This ban will be implemented from October 2. The move comes a day after single-use plastic was banned in the Parliament premises.
In the first phase, the Railway Board asked authorities to expedite the installation of 1,853 plastic water bottle crushing machines at 360 major stations. The board has also asked Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Development Corporation (IRCTC) to implement return of plastic drinking bottles as part of the Extended Producer Responsibility.
The board also asked General Managers of Zonal Railways and production units to encourage railway vendors to avoid use of plastic carry bags. Railway employees were asked to reduce, reuse and refuse plastic products and to use reusable bags to reduce plastic usage.
A Railway Board communication said that the Indian Railways has been identified as a 'Waste Generator' and had to follow Plastic Waste Management rules. Steps are to be taken accordingly to minimise generation of plastic waste and its eco-friendly disposal.
During the Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also called for a ban on single-use plastic. He called upon citizens to abandon the use of single use plastic. "Can we free India from single use plastic? The time for implementing such an idea has come. May teams be mobilised to work in this direction. Let a significant step be made on 2nd October," said Modi.