Call it the effect of rising awareness about tackling climate change, the Prime Minister’s clarion call towards a swacch Bharat or efforts to ban single-use plastic, many places and institutions have taken the first step towards becoming plastic-free. While the government has shelved plans for banning single-use plastic for now due to fear of economic disruption, efforts taken in this regard are appreciable. Emphasising on the need to reduce, reuse and recycle, here are some institutions that are going the sustainable way for a greener tomorrow.
GVK Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL)
The MIAL, in line with the Prime Minister’s vision towards a plastic-free nation, announced on October 2 that the airport is now “100 per cent single-use plastic-free” across verticals including food and beverage, retail, partner airline processes, duty-free and aircraft ground handlers. This ban includes disposable cutlery made up of thermocol (polystyrene or plastic), PET/PETE bottles (less than 200 ml), plastic bags (with/without handle), disposable dish/bowl for food packaging, straws, and bubble wraps.
“As a global airport, over the years we have implemented various path-breaking green initiatives be it with regards to carbon neutrality, utilization of solar energy, recycling waste and generating organic compost, releasing a sustainability report as per the GRI standards, among many such initiatives. Having already initiated the ban in 2018 (Government of Maharashtra’s statewide prohibition on single-use plastic in July 2018), our main aim was to provide the passengers with alternatives that do not affect their pleasant experience at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, Mumbai while, at the same time eliminate the use of single-use plastic across all airport operations along with our stakeholders,” a MIAL spokesperson said in an official statement.
Jamia Millia Islamia University
Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) has been declared plastic-free from October 2, which marked the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Announcing the ban on single-use plastic Vice-Chancellor Prof Najma Akhtar administered pledge to the staff and students not to use plastic and keep the campus clean. She said that the university has already issued an order barring single-use plastic in the entire campus including all hostels, Jamia Community Centre, canteens, shops, coffee houses among others.
The items banned in the university campus includes plastic bottles, cups and glasses, polythene bags and plastic items less than 50 microns (in width), cutlery including plates, cups, straws and decorative items made from styrofoam (thermocol). A fine of Rs 500 on every violation will be implemented, as per the university.
The South Delhi Municipal Corporation recently declared the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in the Capital as the first ‘single-use plastic-free’ educational institute in the city. Plastic items such as polythene bags less than 55 microns, thermocol plates and cups, plastic spoons and straws are on the list.
A fine of Rs 500 on every violation will be implemented, as per the university.
Select City Walk Mall
A popular mall in Delhi, Select City Walk has become the first mall in the city to be plastic-free, which means the shop owners will not provide plastic bags to any of their customers.
As per reports, around 170 showrooms and 30 eateries in the mall decided not to use at least 100 kilos of plastic on daily basis. The mall also signed a memorandum of understanding with the SDMC under which the mall will launch an awareness program in District Centre Saket, nearby markets and kiosks. The mall will also distribute bags made of jute and clothes.
Under the south zone of the Delhi’s SDMC, SDA market, Gautam Nagar fruit and vegetable market, Tagore Garden vegetable and fruit market, Harinagar D Block market, Nangal Raya flyover market and Punjabi Bagh fruit market, have been declared plastic-free. “A total of 47 markets have been declared plastic-free, including 10 each in central and Nazafgarh zones,” SDMC said in a statement.
Hyatt Regency Delhi
With its fully automated in-house water bottling plant, Hyatt Regency Delhi has switched to reusable glass bottles. It aims to eradicate approximately 1.08 million plastic bottles a year, which saves 28 tons of plastic waste every year. The plant can produce up to 500 bottles of water per hour.
As per the hotel, “a specially constructed sterile room, equipped with the latest machinery has been constructed within a record two-and-a-half months”.
The glass bottles are thoroughly “rinsed and hygienically cleaned” with hot water, post which they are sterilised with UV machines. Simultaneously, in a separate 500-litre tank, water is passed through a separate UV machine and 0.45-micron filter, to ensure that it is fit for drinking. These newly sterilised glass bottles are then filled with pure drinking water and sealed shut with caps. This bottling process is devoid of human contact starting from the washing of these bottles, right down to their capping, ensuring utmost efficiency.