The Indian Railways has decided to ban single-use plastic materials on trains, platforms, and railway stations premises, with effect from October 2, 2019.
While directing the authorities to expedite installation of 1,853 plastic water bottle crushing machines at 360 major stations in the first phase, the Railway Board asked Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Development Corporation (IRCTC) to implement the return of plastic drinking bottles as part of Extended Producer Responsibility, reported The Hindu.
General Managers of Zonal Railways and Production Units should encourage all railway vendors to avoid the use of plastic carry bags. Railway employees were also advised to reduce, reuse and refuse plastic products and to use inexpensive reusable bags to reduce plastic footprint.
A Railway Board communication said that Indian Railways was identified as a “Waste Generator” and had to take adequate preventive measures to follow Plastic Waste Management rules. Accordingly, steps should be taken to minimise generation of plastic waste and for its eco-friendly disposal, reported The Hindu.
“Under the revised rules, single-use plastic shall not be less than 50 microns, except where the thickness of such plastic sheets impairs the functionality of the product,” read the order.