In an environment-friendly initiative, Indian Railways has installed bottle crushers at the Vadodara Railway Station to minimise plastic waste at its premises. To encourage people to adopt this habit, Railways has also announced that passengers who will enter their mobile number on the machine after dropping a bottle into it, will get a cashback of Rs 5 on their Paytm wallet.
On World Environment Day, Indian Railways took another step as part of its go-green drive and to beat plastic pollution, announcing that passengers travelling on some premium trains will be served meals on eco-friendly, disposable plates made of bagasse, instead of those made of polymer. Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) on June 5 launched its trial run of environment-friendly, bagasse-based food packaging on eight select Shatabdi and Rajdhani trains originating from New Delhi.
“A Small Step to Beat Plastic Pollution: On #WorldEnvironmentDay, Indian Railways has started using fully biodegradable packages in 4 Shatabdi and 4 Rajdhani trains from Delhi, contributing towards a greener planet (sic),” Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had tweeted.
A Small Step to Beat Plastic Pollution: On #WorldEnvironmentDay, Indian Railways has started using fully biodegradable packages in 4 Shatabadi and 4 Rajadhani trains from Delhi, contributing towards a greener planet. pic.twitter.com/ILcwHN1wgK
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) June 5, 2018
The IRCTC will now use bagasse – the fibrous remains after extracting sugarcane juice – to make disposable cutlery and containers, in which meals will be served. “Provision will be made to collect the used packaging, which will then be processed for disposal through composting to ensure environmental sustainability,” it said in a statement.
In the coming months, Indian Railways aims to introduce the bagasse-based packaging on all the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duranto trains.
Earlier on Tuesday, Railways announced that like airlines, it will now charge a penalty of up to six-times the stipulated fee for carrying extra luggage in trains without booking them in advance. Luggage, which has to be carried with the owner in the same train, should be presented at the booking station at least 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of the train. The passengers booking their accommodation in advance are permitted to book their luggage at the same time.